Lochside Garage

Alcohol still our biggest addiction

NEW statistics show that alcohol is easily the biggest issues in terms of substance abuse in Fermanagh.
In the Western Trust region, 1,208 people were presented to services with drug and/or alcohol misuse problem. More than half of these people, (51%) were presented to services for misuse of alcohol only, and the majority were male (64%).
25% of people were presented for misuse of alcohol and drugs, while 24% were drugs only cases.
The statistics released by the Department of Health relates to the 12 month period ending March 31st 2017, and also detailed that 12.5% of those people who were presented were under the age of 18.
Aidan Ormsby from Supportive Opportunities for Living With Addiction in a Community Environment (Solace) works primarily with those suffering with alcohol addiction. “For the vast majority of people that we deal with, alcohol is the drug of choice. It is an issue that transcends to all age groups but the most common age group we see addiction issues coming to the fore is mid 40s up until the mid 60s. We do often see a proportion of young people with alcohol addiction. We would definitely see in Fermanagh and the area we cover it is predominately alcohol is the main concern.”
Aidan also stressed that there is “drug issues too – prescription medications, cannabis, cocaine and benzos,” and “there are groups of people who are using all of the above.”
Solace is based at the ARC Healthy Living Centre in Lisnaskea, and aims to reduce harm caused by addiction, to individuals, families and communities.
Aidan Ormsby also explains that “awareness is very important, and that is part of what we do. We also do some of the more upstream work with the young people and teenagers. Addiction is by nature a thing that is always going to be there, and it is something that we will always be working and striving to control and improve our understanding of how addiction effects people, and impacts their lives.”
For more information on Solace and the work they do, contact the ARC Healthy Living Centre on 028 686 28741.

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