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Homelessness

Drug use outside Dublin continues to grow, says report

Merchants Quay Ireland’s annual report also shows that there were 558 new users to their Dublin needle exchange service.

THE ANNUAL REPORT by Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI) shows that there is a growth in drug use outside Dublin, with their team in the Midlands working with an average of 130 clients per month.

The Midland’s Harm and Reduction Outreach Service is also providing over 3,000 needle exchange interventions during the year.

Last year, the MQI provided over 76,500 meals to service users with their primary healthcare service for homeless people making 3,316 individual client interventions.

Poverty

MQI state that these statistics show “are very strong indications of the increasing levels of poverty and hardship experienced by so many people”.

Statistics on needle exchange in Dublin show there were 20,847 client visits, showing an increase of almost 2,000 visits from 2011.

A total of 3,634 individuals accessed their needle exchange programme during 2012, of which 558 were new users of the service.

The use of multiple drugs remains a prevalent trend with 75 per cent of needle exchange users reporting use of multiple substances.

Drug use

A combination of heroin, benzodiazepines and alcohol is the most common presenting issue at MQI’s services nationwide in 2012.

Tony Geoghegan, CEO of Merchants Quay Ireland called on the government to seize the budgetary cuts stating:

Demand for our homeless and drugs services is growing, yet finances are contracting. We call on the government to honour their commitment to social justice and maintain services that protect the most vulnerable men and women in Ireland.

New infographic shows extent of homeless problem in Dublin area>

Read: Petition to prevent homeless centre moving next to children’s sports club>

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