Sinn Féin MP Francie Molloy has said only a multi-agency approach can help tackle the scourge of drugs in communities.
Speaking ahead of organising a public meeting in Coalisland area the Mid Ulster MP said:
“The drugs problem is not a new or sudden phenomenon in our communities; it has been a problem for many years which has peaked and waned over time but has never been adequately addressed.
“Recent events, including gun attacks in the Coalisland area, have once again highlighted the extent of this problem and I believe that the time to address the problem is long overdue.
“I also believe that it is an issue that cannot be resolved by just one element of society. Is it a policing issue, a social issue, an issue for parents and a health issue. The drugs problem involves so many different levels that only a multi-agency approach can begin to address it.
“We also have to recognise that it is very much a local issue. Drugs are brought into our communities by those who will live off the proceeds and the misery of others but we have to face up to the fact that those very same people often live in our communities.
“Drugs are being used not just young people but by many different sections of community.
“I feel that the time has come for our community to stand up and say enough is enough. I will be engaging with the various statutory, voluntary and community agencies to discuss how we can begin to tackle this problem. It will not be resolved in a week or a month and may take a long time but it is time to take a stand and begin to turn it around.”