Fine Gael Cork South Central Senator Jerry Buttimer speaking yesterday after the Irish Medical Organisation’s annual conference; has called on people in local communities to look out for one another during these difficult times. Senator Buttimer’s call, comes after it was revealed that there has been a large increase in illnesses relating to financial worry, such as an upsurge in alcohol and drug misuse.
“According to Dr Ronan Boland, GP leader of the IMO, there has been a huge increase in drug and alcohol dependence recently. This coupled with information from the CSO that shows suicide rates are increasing sharply is very worrying. This is why I am calling on people in local communities to support one another. As building a close community spirit can give people who are struggling, a sense of belonging to something rather than being left in isolation.”
“These are difficult times with people worrying about their personal finances; there is also great upheaval in people’s lives, with reduction in working hours, family members emigrating and reduction in pay for example. People are looking for a release in order to take the focus off their lives and are turning to drugs and alcohol for that release.”
“We need to give people an alternative other than alcohol and drugs. While these times are difficult, there are opportunities for people to get involved in community groups and contribute to their local areas.”
In conclusion Senator Buttimer said, “Local communities need to support one another and make sure that people are not left isolated in worry and fear of the change and upheaval that is happening their lives. Being apart of a strong local community can give people a sense of belonging and worth, that may have been taken away from them due to an unexpected or unforeseen change in circumstances.”