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26/10/2021

Increased alcohol and drug use during pandemic presents 'a very challenging time'

Increased alcohol and drug use during pandemic presents 'a very challenging time'

The Covid-19 pandemic has let to an increase in the misuse of alcohol and drugs and increased gambling, creating additional challenges for addiction services. 

The Sub-Committee on mental health will discuss challenges facing organisations providing addiction services and the impact of Covid-19 at a meeting in Leinster House, tomorrow, Wednesday 13 October at 9.30am.

Representatives from Alcohol Forum Ireland, Ballymun Local Drugs and Alcohol Taskforce and the Rutland Centre will appear before the Sub-Committee.

Cathaoirleach of the Sub-Committee, Senator Frances Black said: “The pandemic has led to an increase in the misuse of alcohol, drugs and gambling and has been a very challenging time for those affected by these issues and their families. The pandemic response and fear of the virus may have led to an increase in anxiety or fear for those in recovery.

"The provision of support services, treatment and aftercare has undergone a major change with face-to-face support or group meetings cancelled and services moved to phone or video calls or e-mail.

"Tomorrow is a welcome opportunity to hear from addiction support service providers about their experience during the pandemic and the challenges they are facing as restrictions are lifted," Senator Black said.

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