Don O’Leary, director of Cork’s Life Centre, sees drugs being used by young people as a way to mask pain and trauma and says: “It’s time we started supporting children.”
He expressed concern that schools are using guidance counsellors as a one-size-fits-all solution to a range of complex predicaments, including drug use by students.
“A guidance counsellor is taught to give you advice about heading into your career,” Mr O’Leary said.
“Kids don’t just go down a bad road. If the right people aren’t giving advice then that’s a serious concern. The drugs are just a way to push down the pain that they are already experiencing every day.
“We have three counsellors/therapists working with us and this has proved hugely successful.”