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Home > The geographical distribution of drug use in Ireland.

Sinclair, Hamish (2004) The geographical distribution of drug use in Ireland. Drugnet Ireland , Issue 11, June 2004 , p. 7.

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On 19 April the National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD) and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (Northern Ireland) published jointly the second bulletin of results from the 2002/2003 all-Ireland general population drug prevalence survey. Bulletin 2 presented drug, alcohol and tobacco use rates for each Health Board in Ireland and Health and Social Services Board in Northern Ireland. Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs with responsibility for drugs strategy, Mr Noel Ahern TD, launched the findings.

The Irish drug prevalence survey followed best practice guidelines recommended by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). The questionnaire, based on the ‘European Model Questionnaire’, was administered through face-to-face interviews with respondents aged between 15 and 64 years normally resident in households in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The survey was undertaken by MORI MRC during late 2002 and early 2003. The final achieved sample was 4,925 in Ireland and 3,517 in Northern Ireland. This represents a response rate of 70 per cent in Ireland and 63 per cent in Northern Ireland.

 One interesting finding from the publication is that the pattern of current cannabis use (used in last 30 days) among young adults (15–34 years) by health board area in Ireland displays a clear east to west gradient (see map).

Drug prevalence surveys of the general population are important in that they can shed light on the patterns of drug use, both demographically and geographically and, if repeated, can track changes over time. They help to increase our understanding of drug use, and to formulate and evaluate drug policies. They also enable informed international comparisons provided countries conduct surveys in a comparable manner.

The survey was commissioned by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD) and the Drugs and Alcohol Information and Research Unit (DAIRU) within the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland.

Bulletin 2 of the 2002/2003 Drug Prevalence Survey is available on the NACD website at http://www.nacda.ie
EMCDDA guidelines for drug prevalence surveys are available on the EMCDDA website at http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/

   

Item Type
Article
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Cannabis
Issue Title
Issue 11, June 2004
Date
June 2004
Page Range
p. 7
Publisher
Health Research Board
Volume
Issue 11, June 2004
EndNote
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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