‘Our drugs and alcohol problem in Coalisland is a parenting issue’6, April 2012 | By: David McCann | 13 Comments »
COMMENT On the recent upsurge of interest from residents about the drug problem in Coalisland, I feel that the following points should be taken under consideration.
First of all, the recent edition of a local newspaper published the story that the town was rife with “crystal methampehtamine” and also featured pictures of syringes and spoons which would signify serious drug abuse, as in heroin, etc.
The drug that they were in fact detailing about was “crystalised mephedrone”, which until recently was freely available as it was a “legal high” until it was banned. I am not defending the use of either but the difference between the two is significant.
“It’s quite disconcerting that people can be swept up in such hysteria without checking the actual facts.”
All you have to do is look up on the internet the use of “cystal meth”, look at the pictures of the users, or indeed watch the US drama Breaking Bad, and you will see the seriousness of that particular drug. It is somewhat a far cry from the reality of the situation here.
Coalisland is a small village in the North of Ireland, and it’s quite disconcerting that people can be swept up in such hysteria without checking the actual facts.
Mephedrone is somewhat different substance, and if people want to know about this or any other drug substance I would urge them to contact the Dungannon-based group Breathru, who work with drug and alcohol abuse, and then a reasoned, balanced reaction may be in order (anyone who is in the Stewartsown/Cookstown or Magherafelt areas they could approach TIPSA for more information).
People are all too ready to condemn and urge for marches when they don’t know what they are dealing with. When people gather and speculate, this can only lead to people taking matters into their own hands – something this area has always done.
Some people may call it vigilante justice where young people will be beaten and punished and the only justification is wild speculation and rumour.
“I would see the current problem as being one of parenting issues rather than an outside nation trying to impose dangerous drugs in the village.”
It is very easy to get caught up in such drama I feel. I have talked to a few people who I would believe to be open-minded and reasonable people, but they were convinced about the presence of such dangerous drugs and who was responsible (I heard one man suggest that the Russian mafia was to blame!). That has actually astonished me.
I mean a simple question as to why the Russian mafia would pick a small village in Ireland and people not realising how ludicrous this sounds, leaves me a bit bewildered.
People seem to be wondering why children as young as 13 are drinking and being targeted by the drug pushers. I would question why children as young as 13 are out drinking.
To be honest I would see the current problem as being one of parenting issues rather than an outside nation trying to impose dangerous drugs in the village.
It would be my fear that the likes of rallying, which could be effective, may lead to more serious repercussions when some locals may take it upon themselves to break the legs of a 16 year-old child, as the result of ignorance.
What do you think? Share your views by commenting below