DUBLINERS will be wishing for a return to the days when heroin was the city's greatest scourge, due to the rising threat from crystal meth, a leading social justice campaigner has warned.
Fr Peter McVerry has spoken of his fear that the issues of homelessness and drug addiction are not being taken seriously by the government, and that an 'epidemic' of crystal methamphetamine - made infamous by the TV Show Breaking Bad - is going to hit the city.
"Drug use is on the increase, and a new narcotic coming across from the United States, crystal meth, is more dangerous than any previous drug," he said.
"In a few years time, we will be wishing that we had a heroin problem again, because crystal meth has the potential to destroy whole communities", he added.
A bogus version of crystal meth, which is commonly referred to as ice, Tina or glass, has also recently hit the streets of Dublin.
The fake version contains MDPV (methylenedioxypyrovalerone), which is a new synthetic psychoactive drug with stimulant properties, and is being sold as the equally lethal crystal meth.
As well as the clear health implications associated with the drug, Fr McVerry added that the risk to society when a person is "coming down" off a high is frightening.
"People are very aggressive when they come down off it, you feel so bad and you would do anything for another fix, which makes it a disaster drug for the rest of society" he said.
Fr McVerry explained how the homeless crisis directly affects the spiralling drug problem and how addicts get into a "vicious cycle".
"It doesn't make sense, when a person looking to get off drugs spends six months fighting to get off the drug, but is still homeless", he said.
"They are then rehoused in accommodation full of drug users, and instantly start reusing. It is to my mind immoral and very counter productive in terms of battling homelessness and drug addiction in this country", he said.