BY EMMA CONNOLLY
ALCOHOL is still the reason most people attend for treatment at Tabor Lodge, Belgooly.
At the publication of Tabor Group’s annual report this week, chairman Pat Coughlan said alcohol continued to remain the ‘drug of choice’ in 2016 with seven out of 10 people seeking Tabor’s help for alcohol-related problems.
‘It’s the most prominent drug in Ireland with devastating and destructive consequences throughout our society,’ he said.
In addition to alcohol issues, the group saw a rise in the use of cocaine and heroin, reporting a 9% increase among 18-24 year-olds presenting for treatment. The majority of men (94%) were under the age of 34, a 12% increase from 2015.
Across Tabor Group’s three residential centres in Cork, over 300 people accessed treatment for addiction last year. Of the 204 people who accessed treatment at Tabor Lodge in Belgooly (a 28-day programme), 148 (73%) of admissions were for alcohol-related problems.
‘The patterns that we have seen over the last number of years continued throughout 2016 with high numbers of clients presenting with poly-drug use and dual diagnosis of mental illnesses,’ said Mr Coughlan. ‘The typical alcoholic client who came to our services when we first opened our doors in 1989 is rare today. Our society has moved on and technology has become an enabler for addictions to a much broader population, of all ages. Online access to illicit drugs and gambling are having significant impacts on our most vulnerable citizens.’ Work is underway on Tabor Group’s €4.8m redevelopment of Fellowship House at Spur Hill in Togher and is expected to be completed early 2018.