‘Our drugs and alcohol problem in Coalisland is a parenting issue’

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


13 Comments on “‘Our drugs and alcohol problem in Coalisland is a parenting issue’”

  1. Stewartandsheila says:

    Men running around with clubs & sticks need to look in the mirror!

  2. The Truth says:

    Thank you. About time someone realised what is really going on. Bunch of old women read the paper and sites like this and go on a rally when they don’t have a clue what they are on about. Complete ignorance. So stop sitting round your sowing circle and gossiping and go out and get on with your lives.

    Alcohol is the main problem in Coalisland and indeed Ireland, stop letting YOUR children going out and getting blind drunk every weekend. If they weren’t drunk there would be no drugs involved.  

  3. Me says:

    You’re right about it being a Parental Problem.   If parents would keep a check on where their children are in the evenings and what they’re doing, most of these problems could be avoided.  Any child who is out past 10pm, is up to no good.  Do their parents never wonder where they are?  I have relatives living along the Coalisland Canal and they tell of the wrecking and bad carry on that goes on every night and especially the weekend nights and it’s not adults causing the bother, it’s youngsters and young teenagers…once again, where’s their parents??  I heard of a woman who was buying her 13 YEAR OLD daughter alcohol to drink in the house every weekend, just to keep her in…I mean, 13 years old and she needs drink?!!
    Instead of arranging vigils and marches, sit at home, do without your own drink and spend some time time looking about your children!!

  4. Justly Concerned says:

    This article and the comments so far are a bit narrow minded to say the least. Stop getting on your high horses about people being ignorant of the type of drugs, or they should go home and look out for their own kids. They are out voicing an opinion and registering their anxiety at the availability of drugs (any drugs) in Coalisland. Don’t try to knock them because they aren’t fully clued into the drug scene. Applaud them for getting out and registering their voices against the drug threat.

    • David McCann says:

      The article is simply putting forward the concerns of how such reaction can be detrimental. Yes its all very well people making a stand and this should indeed be applauded but the focus is in the wrong place. Why aren’t people having a vigil against alcohol, which is every bit as dangerous probably moreso. It seems because it is legal, and widely consumed it is deemed safe, where as it has the most horrendous effect on lives and families. As i walked to go over to the vigil yesterday, the first sight that greeted me was a woman being escorted from a house by police and then falling over a fence and hurting herself. And this is ok?. What happened that the police had to be called to remove her from a house at 12.45 in the afternoon.
       I also spotted some people at the vigil who i have seen do horrendous things whilst drunk, for instance throwing a teenager throw a window in a local takeaway. People are just reacting to what they are being told, without actually stopping and thinking for themselves, this is what i would call narrow mindedness. The amount of scaremongering going on cannot be healthy. Apparently you are “addicted the first time you take it”, comments like that can only lead to frightening people, and scared people as we know don’t act rationally. Someone is going to get hurt, and I think some people need to step back and consider what is actually going on.

  5. Dump of a town! says:

    Sure there is nothing in this town but Pubs, Bookies and greasy fast food places! There’s at least 8 pubs in this small town not including carry-outs.

  6. Attention commenters! It would be great to get a few of you writing your own longer comment pieces for the website – on any Coalisland-based subject that takes your fancy.
    Interested? Email [email protected] and I’ll set you up with an account.

  7. nda11 says:

    I’d say in some cases it is certainly a parenting issue but its also an education issue- in that it’s the parents that need educated- i know of some users of various drugs that sit in front of their parents without their parents being any wiser- also in cases where the teenager may be old enough to smoke- i know of some that smoke marijuana in front of their parents under the pretense of smoking “rollies” – the parents just assuming the smell is because its rolling tobacco instead of a cigarette. Also I find the whole thing hypocritical- certainly its a problem that needs to be tackled but I found it hysterical to open the local paper to see the faces of people that are “known” for being drug users- some of the faces i knew were users via hearsay others i knew for fact. One such person even apparently gave a rousing speech… I have a daughter, I care, but i’m intelligent enough to know that no amount of rallying will prevent it- kids as a whole will always get drugs if they go looking for it- you just have to teach your own kids smart choices and discipline them and hope that they’ll listen. Oh and as for the claims that kids are being given heroin for free- HA HA HA- PLEASE – heroin is expensive- do you think any one would give that out- i can only assume this story sprung up via some kid; having been caught with it; claiming someone gave it to him but they dont know what it is! Ridiculous. 

    • Guest says:

      You should be the Councillor instead of that gam, Pádraig Quinn. Seen many a person at that rally who are complete scumbags and hardmen. Can’t use their name as my comments never get through, but it’s ok for them to slander other peoples name.

    • Shiv79 says:

      dealers give a 1st hit for free to get their targets hooked

  8. Coalisland has nothing but pubs everywhere, no wonder people turn to drink. I mean have you ever tried walking through lineside some weekend night? The drug problem is way too exaggerated. Marching is good and all, it shows that you care, but such effort is better focused at actual problems, not potential problems.

  9. the one says:

    I live in Coalisland and I can honestly say its not as bad as use make it out to be an odd joint and drinking a couple bottles of bucky at the weekend is the normal simply because there is f*** all to do around the town and the teenagers arent to blame about that the parents are use should all b thinking off ideas to keep us all busys instead of trying to scare us by saying groups off use well b on night watch and s*** that isnt going to change anything 

  10. Aidanharte says:

    when you throw mud enough it sticks.  Maybe we should look at the real promblem the abuse of alchol.  the drinks trade have a big roll to play in societies drinking habits,they should be made resposible for whom they serve drink to.Who are the real drug” dealers” they are in every town in ireland.


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