Tipp possibly set for crack cocaine epidemic

Photo: An Garda Síochána Tipperary / Facebook.

A local drug education officer is warning that Tipp could see an increase in crack cocaine usage.

John Leahy with the HSE, Clonmel, says that the crack cocaine epidemic was intended to hit the Premier before the pandemic but believes it was halted due to restrictions at the time.

He told Tipp Today that as life returns to normal, he anticipates that Tipp will now face the arrival and threat of crack cocaine in its towns and villages.

John warns that this drug is highly addictive.

“They say the hit is very high and intense, and it’s very likeable. The thing with crack cocaine, it’s very pure cocaine. The simplest way to describe it is, you kind of burn off all of the other adulterants off it, everything that it’s mixed with, so you’re left with it really pure. Then you smoke it and you get an immediate hit.”

The Drug Education Officer has also cautioned people against using vapes.

John says research has proven that vaping could lead to lung damage, or what is known as “Popcorn Lung.”

He believes more legislation and education around vapes are needed, especially among young people, as addiction to vaping has now become normalised in society.

John says people should not make the mistake of believing that vapes are less harmful than cigarettes.

“The research has shown that it’s affecting lungs. I don’t buy into the thing that, ‘oh it’s less than cigarettes’. Look at the product in itself. There is a terminology out there with vaping that is called “Popcorn Lung.” It’s like a little growth on your lung. That’s happening. Why would you want to put yourself at risk? That’s my view on it. Medically, we do see that. With all the different flavours, these products are being made very attractive, very much to get young people to take it.”

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the HSE Substance Misuse Service on (052) 6177-900 or email [email protected] for support and information.