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Home > 16. Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the research carried out in relation to the use of illegal substances on a county basis; the determination of such research; if misuse is on the increase or decrease in each county. [5581/08]

[Oireachtas] 16. Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the research carried out in relation to the use of illegal substances on a county basis; the determination of such research; if misuse is on the increase or decrease in each county. [5581/08]. (14 Feb 2008)

External website: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2008/02/14/00031...


Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Pat Carey): Currently research is not available in relation to the use of illegal substances on a county basis. The all-island Drug Prevalence Survey, first carried out in 2002/03 and repeated in 2006/07, is the best indicator of drug prevalence in Ireland. These surveys were carried out jointly by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD) and the Drug and Alcohol Information and Research Unit of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland.

I recently launched the first bulletin of the 2006/07 survey. For the first time this allows us to determine trends in the use of various drugs across different categories of the population between the ages of 15 and 65 through comparison of the outcomes of the two surveys. The second bulletin of the 2006/07 survey, which will be published in early Summer, will provide a breakdown of the prevalence of drug usage on a regional basis (based on the former Health Board areas), again allowing us to track changes at that level. With respect to heroin in particular, a three-source Capture-Recapture Study is being undertaken by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and this will facilitate comparison (at a Dublin and Rest of Ireland level) with the results of a previous study carried out in 2000/01.

Vol. 647 No. 2
Written Answers
Thursday, 14 February 2008

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