Cocaine flood seduces city
A NEWRY counselor who manages security in the city's social scene has blown the lid on the city's latest fixation - cocaine.
"I am shocked by the area's top professionals and sporting figures that are involved in the cocaine craze sweeping Newry," says councillor Brendan Curran, who also runs his own security company. "I was shocked at those you would have thought would know better."
Ardmore PSNI Chief Inspector Gary Hagan confirmed the problem was increasing: "We see an increase in cocaine use and know it is happening. In recent times we have made more seizures than ever which is a symptom of problem. People who use drugs are just interested in a change.
"But we can't actually estimate how many people are using it. We only know that our seizures are definitely on the rise." He said they had intelligence on those bringing the drugs into the area, but that they had not yet been able to gather enough evidence for prosecutions.
Mr Curran is concerned about the risks to users: "This will affect the user, their family and career prospects it is not harmless.
"It is used in circles a lot of other drugs like ecstasy have not been able to penetrate and is seen as hip and cool.
He says there the only signs of use are people in 'top form' though some sell their belongings - or steal - to fund their habit.