A CORK CITY councillor has spoken out in frustration in the wake of the death of an 18-year-old Millstreet man after taking a new variety of illegal drug.
Alex Ryan died yesterday having been on a life-support machine at Cork University Hospital since last Monday.
Alex and five others were hospitalised after ingesting a new drug called 25I-NBOMe, colloquially known as an ‘n-bomb’, at a house party in Cork city last Monday.
The drug achieves effects similar to a cross between those of LSD and metamphetamine.
“This is something that needs to be tackled and soon,” Kenneth O’Flynn, a Fianna Fáil councillor and former deputy Lord Mayor of Cork city, told TheJournal.ie.
There is a tolerance of drug-related crime, like it’s become the norm in our society and it’s totally wrong. It’s not acceptable.
O’Flynn describes the atmosphere in Cork as “very bleak” in the wake of Alex Ryan’s death.
A man in 20s was arrested last week in connection with the supply of the drug which hospitalised the six people. He has since been released without charge while a file is being prepared by gardaí for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
“Well the community is devastated, all you can do is hope that it will prove to be a wake-up call for people,” he says.
We’re very fortunate down here in that we haven’t been affected by the likes of heroin to the same extent as other cities. But still it’s a big shock to local society.
He says that an answer to the problem of new drugs is aggressive education, “starting from the age of five”.
We have to alert people to the fact that drugs aren’t an option, to the serious risk that comes with taking an unknown substance.
You don’t know what’s in these things, what sort of chemicals go into them and in what quantities. More than anything young people have to know that the people selling illegal drugs don’t give a damn about human life. They care about profits, nothing else.
O’Flynn says that such education may have to be “harder and more heavy-handed” than is currently the case, but that it is a price worth paying.
“This is reality. This is our responsibility to society,” he says.