There is a real fear that drug use in the community is on the increase.
There have been some high profile cases recently but it’s an issue in almost every town and village, according to SDLP’s Justin McNulty.
“It is an issue which has been raised with me directly,” he commented.
“People are appealing for police action and are calling for a greater awareness of the devastating damage drugs can do a community, a family or an individual.”
He added: “This week I was taken to two areas in this constituency by local community representatives who highlighted areas were drug taking and dealing is a constant problem.
“They highlighted the problem to police previously but nothing has been done about it. I found evidence of drug taking paraphernalia and even used needles.
“The scary thing is the age of some of the people involved in this, both the very young and those old enough to know better.
“‘I have sought a meeting with Senior Police Officers in both Newry and Armagh. We need to see a greater working relationship with schools, youth organisations and the police to highlight the dangers of drugs. The police must take action to tackle the dealing of such contraband as well.
“Drugs devastate lives, they wreck communities and families can be torn apart. We need to see greater focus on education and enforcement.
“Let’s not leave it until we have more tragic deaths before action is taken.”