Addiction, mental health and homelessness does not take a break during a pandemic


Dublin Mid-West TD Mark Ward has raised concerns with the Department of Health with people in addiction who are vulnerable at multiple levels including underlying health issues during the COVID 19 restrictions. Deputy Ward worked for many years in Community drug projects across Dublin and  is calling on several measures to be implemented. Gardai recovered a significant number of drugs in Deputy Wards area of Clondalkin at the weekend

Deputy Ward said: “Gardai from my area of Clondalkin discovered a significant amount of drugs along the Grand Canal at the weekend. Whilst this is positive in removing these drugs from the street it drove home to me that drug dealing, and drug addiction do not take a break during a pandemic”
“More resources are needed to tackle the dealing, but also more resources are needed to support people in addiction and their families during these tough times”

“People in addiction are vulnerable at many levels including underlying health issues including mental health and this was prior to the COVID 19 restrictions.  These issues will become more pronounced due to a decrease in the level of services available” “Our Community Drug Projects aim to provide an accessible, inclusive, and safe space where people who are in addiction are supported to reduce the harms of their drug use and to address the broader issues relating to their addiction. The impact of COVID19 has temporarily limited access to these safe spaces at a time of increased vulnerability.”

“I know from my time working in community drug projects that a significant number of people in addiction are homeless and living in hostels. Some do not have phones and their ability to link in with support services are limited” “For those living at home I have reports of increase family tensions. Mental health deterioration is a major issue for people in addiction and projects have become aware of people going through withdrawals without appropriate supports”

“The Community Drug Projects I spoke too are committed to providing the services that are essential to the well-being of people in addiction as much as possible during these challenging times” “I have spoken to a number of these community drug projects and City Wide have also contacted me calling for a number of actions to be implanted including the HSE to have clear protocols in place to ensure that medical and addiction specialists work together effectively on the treatment of any patient admitted with COVID 19 who is in addiction.”

“They are also calling for Dept of Housing to cover the cost of making free Wi-Fi available in all hostels so that people can have access to online supports that are being made available and the HSE Community Mental Health Services to link in with Community Drug Projects to provide pro-active outreach supports to people in addiction.”

“I am also asking Local Authorities to invite Drug and Alcohol Task Forces to become members of the Community Response Forums to provide the expertise required in providing community supports”
“I have contacted the Minister of Health and asked him to read the City-Wide report and to implement the actions require during this crisis” “Addiction, mental health and homelessness does not take a break during a pandemic”

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



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