Home > Study of drug use in Clondalkin.

Donovan, Anne Marie and Carew, Anne Marie ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8026-7228 (2009) Study of drug use in Clondalkin. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 29, Spring 2009, p. 20.

PDF (Drugnet Ireland, issue 29) - Published Version

This timely report1 commissioned by the Clondalkin Local Drugs Task Force (CLDTF) was launched on 7 December 2008 by John Curran TD, Minister of State with responsibility for drugs strategy, at Áras Chrónáin in Clondalkin. The research team was led by Dr Marianne Greene of Merchants Quay Ireland with assistance from the Clondalkin Drug Users Forum. The CLDTF, entering its third strategic review, commissioned the research to 'define the current nature and extent of drug use in Clondalkin ... in order to inform drug strategy, policy and services' (p. 6).

Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used, including a survey of 150 drug users by nine peer research assistants, and focus groups with problematic drug users, family members and community members. Available relevant statistics were also collated, such as Garda crime statistics and drug treatment figures.
The report covers a wide range of drug-related issues, including information relating to availability, prevalence, profile and patterns of use, drug-related health issues and risk behaviours, drug treatment and drug-related crime.
Patterns of drug use and emerging trends
Heroin remains the primary drug of use among those attending drug treatment facilities but crack cocaine is regarded as an emerging problem drug in the Clondalkin area. Polydrug use is common and generally involves heroin combined with cannabis, cocaine, crack or benzodiazepines. The injection of cocaine by injecting heroin users was another emerging trend.
Drug dealing and drug related crime
As drug consumption has become less visible in public areas, concerns of the wider community have centred upon drug-related crime and the normalisation of such crime. A greater amount and variety of illegal drugs has become available in recent years. Dealing has become more open, frequently being conducted in public places, and is seen as an attractive and lucrative career option for a proportion of young people living in Clondalkin. The report highlighted a belief that law enforcement focused too much on breaking up high-level drug distribution networks rather than on disrupting the activities of local dealers. Lenient sentencing of drug offenders was also of concern to participants.
Drug treatment and harm reduction
On the basis of data from statutory and community agencies in the CLDTF area, there appeared to be a small decrease in the numbers attending drug treatment services in the last three years. Of the 150 drug users surveyed, nearly two-thirds were not accessing drug services at the time of the study, while 42% had never accessed drug services other than needle exchanges.  Over half (59.3%) of the 81 injecting drug users surveyed reported using needle exchanges weekly or monthly.
 Just over one-third of the sample (37.3%) were currently on methadone maintenance programmes. Typical waiting times for methadone maintenance were less than three months (33.3%), and over twelve months (29.8%). While there was general satisfaction with the methadone programme as a stabilising influence, some participants were frustrated at the lack of a moving-on mechanism for those on the programme. The lack of inpatient detox facilities was also highlighted in the report.
 The report is available from Clondalkin Drugs Task Force, telephone (01) 457 9445.
 1. Breen M (2008) Nature and extent of drug use in Clondalkin. Dublin: Clondalkin Local Drugs Task Force.
Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Issue Title
Issue 29, Spring 2009
Page Range
p. 20
Health Research Board
Issue 29, Spring 2009

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