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Many uneducated young Invest in drug-rehab people are out of work projects -demand Citywide

- drug-seizures not a full solution WHILE the media and public spotlight focuses on multi-million-euro drug-seizures, the measures required to help addicts off drugs and to get their lives back on track get scant attention. A new campaign from CityWide Drugs Crisis Campaign is highlighting the fact that while there were 7,637 people in drug treatment, FAS was only able to sponsor 1,120 work rehabilitation places. CityWide wants the Government to deliver more resources for rehabilitation programmes to get people back to work. At the launch of a report titled – 'Drug Rehabilitation, A View from the Community' the Citywide co-ordinator, Anna Quigley, called for increased investment in rehabilitating former drug-users.

SOCIAL and Family Affairs Minister, Seamus Brennan, asked earlier this year why there were still 150,000 people on the dole when so many immigrants are getting jobs. In the last issue, we answered part of the question: people with disabilities find it very hard to get jobs and, in places, face up to 80% unemployment. Here, NICK MURPHY, asks some CDP people and the Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed (INOU) who they believe is ‘still on the dole’. Mary Good of PIECE CDP in Snowdrop Walk, Dublin feels that young people in their late teens and early twenties who have left school with little qualifications are a group who are particularly in need of support. "Young people who perhaps have never worked but have taken training such as our Office Skills Course find it difficult to get employment. They have no previous experience and little chance of getting any if somebody does not employ them. There appears to be no firm out there willing to give them a chance," she said. Those with mental health problems in their past, those from new communities and people with disabilities all need support according to the co-ordinator of the Special Project for the Long Term Unemployed. Brenda O’Neill from the Rialto Community Network points to the difficulties experienced by those on welfare/disability payments who changing ireland

wish to move into a work situation. Extra income immediately affects the payments these people receive making it difficult to move slowly into a work situation by taking on only a few hours per week. Other difficulties such as affordable childcare make it difficult for those needing to upskill in advance of seeking employment as funding is not available to them. Meanwhile, the INOU mentions people such as those working only one or two days a week and legimately claiming a payment for the rest of the week as well as those signing for credits. The INOU also said jobs are hard to find by those who are often discriminated against, such as Travellers and migrant workers. Indeed, An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, drew attention in late November to unemployment among Travellers in a speech he made in Cork: "At a time of unprecedented economic success, Travellers should be able to share in the benefits of our increased wealth. Unemployment levels amongst travellers are at an unacceptable level. I believe that State agencies can play a more pro-active role in supporting Travellers to develop skills and access employment, in the public and private sectors," he said, speaking at the opening of the new Traveller community centre on John Street, Cork.


A child’s soft toy (a tiger) torn up for use by a heroin addict. The drug is inhaled from the foam.

The statistics she provided spoke for themselves: "We have 7,500 people on methadone, and the vast majority don’t have access to rehabilitation places. On its own, methadone is not a treatment and we need to have investment in rehabilitation." SIPTU is supporting Citywide's campaign for more investment in rehabilitation for drugusers. Ms. Quigley also called for an interagency approach to combat drug abuse nationwide. Ms. Quigley pointed out that drug users can have multiple-needs, for example regarding housing and childcare, but the inter-agency action this required was not always forthcoming. She emphasised: "As well as all that action around cutting the supply of drugs, we need to see the resources invested on the ground." Citywide celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this year. It is one of the Programme’s six Specialist Support Agencies and provides support to CDPs around the country who wish to work on the issue of drugs in the community. Adopting a community development approach to the drugs problem means involving the people who are most affected by the problem in dealing with the problem – drug users, their families and communities.

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