The State’s homelessness crisis has opened up a “cesspool” for those at the centre of it and is contributing to the growing problem of drug addiction, the founder of the Cuan Mhuire addiction treatment and rehabilitation service said.
Speaking at Leinster House on Thursday after being presented with the Oireachtas Human Dignity Award, Sr Consilio Fitzgerald expressed concern for the 3,826 children among the more than 10,500 people living in emergency accommodation in the State.
“I have been saying it, we’ve been saying it, what is going to happen to the children that are going through [homelessness] now?” she asked. “It’s just opening up a whole cesspool for people. It’s opening up a whole new feeling for them of being less of a person. It’s so important that people have their dignity, their value and their uniqueness.”
Sr Consilio noted that people at every level of society were struggling with addiction and noted reports stating that cocaine use had returned to levels seen during the boom years.
“In the past, we never had waiting lists for our centres. Now, we have a huge waiting list of about 200 people. Nowadays there’s more demand, more need, more difficulties. It’s not just cities or towns anymore – drug addiction is all over this country. It’s frightening,” she said.
Source: Jade Wilson, Irish Times, 5th December 2019