SINN Fein county councillor Pearse McGeough has made an impassioned plea to young people not take dangerous or illegal substances after two young women were thought to have taken a contaminated batch of cannabis last week.
Toxicology tests have shown that smoking cannabis was not the main cause of their alarming illnesses. The women are not connected but one of them is a neighbour of Cllr McGeough.
She is recovering at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.
There were fears that contaminated cannabis could have been the cause of the local girl’s illness and that of another lady from Drogheda. That has not been the case but Councillor McGeough has warned young people against playing with fire.
“I am delighted that she is recovering, but please do not take dangerous substances,” Cllr McGeough warned.
“They are posionious and can destroy destroy whole lives. We must avoid another situation like this.
“The group CLICKS has been doing great work here in Kilsaran and Castlebellingham to help people stay away from drugs and people should support it in every way they can.”
CLICKS (Community Links in Castlebellingham, Kilsaran and Stabannon) is a group which was set up to combat drug and alcohol abuse.
CLICKS was formed after Fr Martin Murphy, Liaison Officer of the Irish Bishops Drugs Initiative, who met people from different parish groups.
They talked about how the local community could take part in a pilot scheme that was already running in ten parishes nationwide as well as ten Dublin parishes. And from CLICKS was born.
They have met regularly since then.
The committee has taken part in a drug and alcohol awareness programme given by the HSE and with the children from both primary schools, produced a leaflet which has been distributed throughout the parish.
CLICKS is a group of local people who want to help raise awareness in the community, especially among young people, of the dangers associated with drugs, alcohol and other addictions.
Their long term objectives is to provide a place for children and adults to meet and socialise, to provide education and information on drugs and alcohol abuse, and promote a caring community that embraces all.
They feel these objectives are not only worthwhile but achievable. The local community in Stabannon are shortly opening a centre there for use by everyone and CLICKS is committed to supporting and encouraging a similar venue for the Kilsaran/Castlebellingham area.
They are not trained councillors or support workers but facilitators of information, creating awareness of these addictions and what affects misuse has for families and communities.