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Home > 90. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Health and Children the research her Department has carried out in relation to the drug or substance known as cocaethylene; if this drug or substance creates problems in relation to persons' senses. [27929/07]

[Oireachtas] 90. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Health and Children the research her Department has carried out in relation to the drug or substance known as cocaethylene; if this drug or substance creates problems in relation to persons' senses. [27929/07]. (08 Nov 2007)

URL: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2007/11/08/00079...


Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney): While my Department has not conducted specific research on cocaethylene, I am aware that international research has established a link between the combined use of alcohol and cocaine and morbidity. When cocaine is taken with alcohol its combines in the system to form the drug cocaethylene which is more toxic than using either drug alone. The combined use of alcohol and cocaine has, I understand, been linked to violence which is particularly prevalent due to the increased aggressiveness associated with cocaine use and the dis-inhibition associated with alcohol use. I am aware that in Ireland some people who take cocaine also use alcohol at the same time.

The Health Research Board in its recent report Health Related Consequences of Problem Alcohol Use, noted an increase between 2004 and 2005 of 45% in the number of people being treated for both alcohol and cocaine use among those whose cases which were reported to the National Drug Treatment Reporting System. Some work of general relevance to the issue of combined use of cocaine and alcohol in Ireland is that being carried out in the context of the National Drug Related Deaths Index (NDRDI). To comply with Action 67 of Building on Experience: National Drug Strategy 2001-2008, the Department of Health and Children and the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform jointly asked the Health Research Board to establish a National Drug-Related Deaths Index. The index is a census of drug and alcohol-related deaths and deaths among substance users in Ireland. The data for the Index is drawn from a number of sources including the General Mortality Register; the Coroner’s Service; the Hospital In-patient Enquiry (HIPE); and the Central Treatment List. The National Drug Related Death Index (NDRDI) is collecting information on all alcohol related deaths since 2004, in addition to all drug related deaths (including cocaine). From this, the number of deaths in which both alcohol and cocaine are implicated may be calculated. The first report from the NDRDI will be available in late 2008. Vol. 641 No. 2 Written Answers Thursday, 8 November 2007

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