Taxi Talks: A weekly blog on the ever changing anecdotes from Ireland’s Taxi Drivers – Illegal Drugs

Amy McCabe

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This week’s ‘Taxi Talks’ was with another male driver, in his 30s I’d estimate (trying to not insult). Once again Dublin and city living became the base of our conversation. I spoke about all the opportunities Dublin has for working graduates and Mr. Taxi Man agreed to an extent….

He told me that I don’t really get to see some parts of Dublin life, as I’m just here for a few hours each day. He told me he believed drugs were taking over the city; and people are just ignoring Dublin’s silent killer. He said he couldn’t believe that this issue wasn’t discussed by any of his local TDs during the general election.

Drug Use - Photo Credit - Tanjila Ahmed - Flickr
Drug Use – Photo Credit – Tanjila Ahmed – Flickr

He said he grew up around the Cabra Road, in Dublin; and his own home isn’t too far away today. He said young people and drugs is a real issue around his local area. He is so concerned for his children and their involvement with drugs. So much so, he has even considered moving out of Dublin all together. He knows some of his children’s friends take drugs and is worried his kids will be next. I informed this man that unfortunately drugs are an issue across all of Ireland, both in cities and rural Ireland.

This man said many friends and relations he went to school with are now casual drug users and some are homeless drug addicts. One relation of his died due to drug and alcohol abuse, just two years ago. He said a lot of Irish people and politicians are so unaware of the drug crisis in Ireland – it really worries him.

This man’s views concerning drugs in Ireland couldn’t be any more accurate. In the last few years Ireland came in the top 5  European countries for the use and sale of heroin. As well as drug related deaths. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction states “The drug-induced mortality rate among ad ults (aged 15–64) was 58.5 deaths per million in 2011, more than three time the 2013 European average of 17.2 deaths per million.”

Illegal Drugs - Photo Credit - Clare Bell - Flickr
Illegal Drugs – Photo Credit – Clare Bell – Flickr

In 2013, Newstalk reported on the worrying statistics of legal highs and head shop trades in Ireland. “Young people in Ireland are the most-likely to have tried so-called ‘legal high’ drugs in the entire European Union (EU). Figures published by the official EU statistics body, Eurostat, show 16% of young Irish people have tried drugs from head shops.” Although these head shops have since closed across the country, these legal highs have not stopped yet.

Minister of State with responsibility for the Drugs Strategy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, recently spoke to RTE on the issue of legal highs, he confirmed there is a series problem in Ireland and said “We have an issue in this country in relation to Psychoactive Substances … the legislation being prepared will be extremely robust”.

Legal Highs - Photo Credit - Ashton - Flickr
Legal Highs – Photo Credit – Ashton – Flickr

Buying legal highs online has become increasingly easy. Check it out for yourself:

http://www.mysteriousplants.com/

https://www.coffeesh0p.com/

http://www.neorganics.net/

http://www.alternativemind.co.uk/

If legislation is not put in place to combat this issue soon, many more drug related deaths will be recorded in the upcoming years.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article there is help out there:

The Aware Support Line 1800 80 48 48

HSE Drug Helpline 1800 459 459

 

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Amy McCabe