There's a warning that the crack cocaine problem in the Tallaght-Whitechurch area of Dublin has 'spiralled out of control'.
A new report by the Tallaght Drug & Alcohol Taskforce has found that the number of people living in the who are seeking treatment for drug addiction has doubled in the last 10 years.
Staff working in addiction services in the area believe they are only meeting a quarter of people who need help.
The report has found there's been a 75% increase in drug-related crime in the area since 2018, including intimidation of women by drug dealers.
It also found that funding for services has decreased by 5% in the last 10 years.
The taskforce has warned that community addiction services are at a breaking point, and there's now an urgent need for €1 million in extra funding to address the 'tsunami' of crack cocaine in the area.
They're warning that crack cocaine "causes chaos and destruction" for both the person trapped in addiction and their wider family and community.
The latest report highlights the scale of the problem, following concerns raised in recent years about the crack cocaine situation in Tallaght-Whitechurch.
Grace Hill is the Tallaght Drug and Alcohol Taskforce coordinator, and she spoke to Newstalk Breakfast.
She said: “The situation is grim, and the report is grim reading for sure.
“Recovery is happening in Tallaght, and it’s possible. But we don’t have the resources to address the situation.
“The report has pointed out the growth in the population and the growth in poverty. The link to poverty and this issue I don’t think can be overexaggerated."
Community services have been responding with the resources that have been available, but some key pilot projects are only getting €25,000 in funding each.
Grace said the working links with local authorities are already there, and that can be built on.
The issue, she said, is all down to resources - explaining that interventions can’t happen if frontline services aren’t equipped to deal with it.
She said: “We’re calling for additional funding of €1 million to address the crack issue that’s spiralled out of control, and to fund the community addiction services.
“We want to work around prevention, to work with young people, to prevent this happening from the offset.
“There are generations of drug users in one family, and we want to stop this in its tracks.”
Senator Lynn Ruane, meanwhile, called on Government to play their part in supporting west Dublin.
Launching the report today, the independent senator said services cannot work with the 'measly budgets' being provided by the Government.
She said: "Lack of investment is measured in the amount of trauma that exists in nearly every household, in some shape or form, across especially Tallaght West."