Concerns over increasing drug abuse

RESIDENTS in the Castlemurray area of Strabane are said to have mounting concerns over recent drug abuse.

Relayed by Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Michaela Boyle, these concerns relate to substance abuse at the rear of homes at Castlemurray, which is reportedly taking place on an almost nightly basis.

The Sinn Féin councillor explained, “I have been contacted by local residents in the area who are deeply concerned that the backs to the rear of homes in Castlemurray are being increasingly used as a location for drug taking.

“Most residents living in the vicinity of where this is happening are elderly and they are obviously very afraid about this turn of events.

“This is now happening on an almost nightly basis and given the range of drugs paraphernalia that is being discarded is clear that a range of substances are being consumed.”

Last month, it was claimed that drug abuse in the town had reached “epidemic proportions” after residents of the Ballycolman spoke out about the antics of young people around the pedestrian bridge and the river bank on the Ballycolman side of the Mourne. As well as the substance abuse, residents told of being verbally abused as they pass by the young adults and incidents of urinating in front of children was also been condemned.

The mayor continued, “What has shocked local people most is that the age group of those involved is so young yet they are consuming substances which are not only detrimental to their physical and mental health but which could be potentially lethal.    

“I am not as naive as to believe that there are any quick fix solutions to combating the increasing availability of drugs not only locally but throughout wider society. It takes and needs to take an increasingly multi-agency approach in addressing the problem.

“However, as part of this it is also important to highlight what is going on particularly to parents who may be totally oblivious to the dangers their children may be exposed to and this includes identifying these local hot spots where drug taking is taking is place on a regular basis.”



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