Campaigners call for action as concern grows over level of drug addiction among homeless population

There is growing concern about the level of drug addiction among those living on the streets of Northern Ireland. Campaigners have been calling for urgent action to address the problem before it gets worse. Paul McCusker, from the People’s Kitchen in Belfast, warned that the situation on the streets is “deteriorating.”

“It is a very, very worrying picture. On the streets at the minute it’s very dangerous. We're seeing drug use increase.

"We're seeing the violence on the streets increase. I've never seen it as bad and it just seems to get worse week on week,” he said. Mr McCusker added: “We've been calling for better resources, for intervention from all our different services. It's not coming quick enough.

"And we worry that people are going to die on the streets if we don't have that response soon.” UTV spent Friday night with outreach workers on the streets of Belfast and witnessed the crisis developing on the streets. We spoke to a 24 year-old man called James who has a drug and alcohol addiction. James said he has been homeless on and off from the age of 19. One of his friends on the street died from an overdose last year. “It broke my heart. I have overdosed seven or eight times. My mom and dad had to come up the hospital and see me with a big tube down my throat.” James said he regrets the life choices that have led to him spending time in prison and on the streets.

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