Published: 21 October 2008
Crack cocaine in the Dublin region: an evidence base for a crack cocaine strategy
Crack cocaine is produced from powder cocaine using readily available chemical agents such as ammonia or baking soda. Smoking crack is a highly efficient way of getting cocaine into the brain, making its use compulsive and difficult to control in some cases. In early 2005, a number of seizures of crack cocaine were made by An Garda Síochána in Dublin’s north-inner city. In addition, there were anecdotal reports of individuals using crack cocaine in Dublin. As a result, the Intersectoral Crack Cocaine Strategy Group (ISCCSG) was established in the north-inner city in March 2006.
The group decided to document the nature and extent of crack use; the availability of crack; the impact of crack on the user, the family and the wider community; and current treatment and policing responses to crack use.
The Alcohol and Drug Research Unit (ADRU) of the Health Research Board (HRB) was commissioned to complete the study using a rapid situation assessment method. The study involved a review of findings from relevant research, the collection and analysis of up-to-date drug-treatment and criminal justice data, and interviews and focus groups with crack users, service providers and the Garda National Drugs Unit.