A huge 32% of youths in this general area told a survey that they obtained alcohol in Castleisland with no I.D. while 17% said they used a fake I.D. to purchase drink here.
The report, which has just been published by the Castleisland Interagency Youth Forum, was established in 2010 by Castleisland/Farranfore Primary Care Team as a response to concerns raised by the Community and HSE personnel.
The survey focused on the fears that there may be an increasing issue of drug and alcohol misuse among younger people in the Castleisland area.
The forum includes representatives from: HSE; An Garda Siochána; Kerry Diocesan Youth Service; North & East Kerry Development; Castleisland Family Resource Centre; Kerry Travellers Health & Community Development Project and Castleisland Day Care Centre.
The aim of the forum is: to provide an opportunity for agencies in the Castleisland area to network and share information on youth related issues in the area and to work in collaboration with the local community and local services in developing actions relating to reducing both drug/alcohol use and related harm in the community.
Drug and Alcohol Use
In order to develop a strategy for the Castleisland/ Farranfore area a survey was carried out to ascertain the level of drug and alcohol use among young people in the area.
The survey, which took place between February and April 2014, was carried out with young people in schools, youth groups and youth activity groups. A survey was also carried out with members of the community through work places, committee members of community groups and the general public.
The main findings of the survey concluded that 63% of the youths surveyed had said they had taken alcohol and just over half of those had admitted to binge drinking.
“The trend of increased ease of access to alcohol is also a source of concern” stated Michelle Foley Health Promotion Officer with the HSE. “A huge 32% of those surveyed said they obtained alcohol with no I.D. while 17% said they used fake I.D.,” Ms. Foley said.
A total of 46% of young people said they obtained alcohol from their friends while 28% said they obtained alcohol from off licences/bar/restaurant with 6% said they obtaining it from the local shop/supermarket.
A concerning 45% of respondents have said that someone had offered, to buy or to sell alcohol to them within the last two months.
In relation to drugs use the research has shown that 9.2% have taken drugs – other than alcohol. However, the research mainly focused on alcohol use.
“Many recommendations were given by participants who took part in the questionnaires and these are being examined in the development of the youth strategy for the area by the Castleisland Interagency Youth Forum” said Michelle Foley.
The development of a five-year youth strategy will commence in September 2014 and from this a yearly action plan will be put in place.