One third of those seeking help for crack cocaine addition in the Tallaght-Whitechurch area of Dublin are women, according to a new report.
The research by the Tallaght Drugs and Alcohol Task Force (TDATF) revealed a "tsunami" of crack cocaine addition and dealing in the area, prompting calls for €1 million in extra funding for frontline community addition services to tackle the issue.
The number of people being treated in the task force's projects have doubled in the last 10 years, while frontline workers believe they are only meeting a quarter of the true needs of the area.
The report also found a 75 per cent increase in drug related crime since 2018, including a rise in the level of intimidation of women by dealers. The figures come as Tallaght has the joint lowest number of Gardaí per head of population in the Dublin region.
The task force's budget has been cut to €1.2 million, putting the nine frontline community addition projects which it runs under considerable strain.
The TDATF are calling for additional funding in order to offer more support to tackle the crack cocaine issue, develop more direct interventions for vulnerable young people, and to fund more Gardaí in the area.
The TDATF's co-ordinator, Grace Hill says the rise in crack cocaine use and dealing over the past three years has brought their services to breaking point: "Community drug services have been seriously underfunded for a number of years, but the growth in drug addiction, particularly crack cocaine, means that these services are under severe pressure, with waiting lists for vital supports for people in addiction.
"Crack cocaine causes chaos and destruction in the life of the person trapped in addiction and hugely affects their children, their wider family and community. A growing number of women have become trapped in a life of addiction and intimidation, who find it very difficult to escape the cycle of trauma and addiction without our help."
The report, 'The Landscape of Substance Misuse and its Impact on the Communities of Tallaght’s Drugs and Alcohol Task Force' will be published in Killinarden, Tallaght on Monday afternoon by Independent Senator Lynn Ruane.