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Home > Substance misuse in the HSE South Eastern Area.

Long, Jean (2007) Substance misuse in the HSE South Eastern Area. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 24, Winter 2007, p. 14.

PDF (Drugnet Ireland, issue 24) - Published Version

The Health Service Executive (HSE) South Eastern Area published its annual report, Data co-ordination overview of drug misuse 2006, in September 2007.1  The report comprises four sections: recent developments, treatment services, education and prevention, and supply and control. 

The section on treatment services analyses data collected from statutory and voluntary drug and alcohol treatment agencies, acute general hospitals and psychiatric hospitals in the HSE South Eastern Area. The data from the drug and alcohol treatment services are returned to the National Drug Treatment Reporting System in the Health Research Board.

The total number of contacts with treatment services in 2006 was 2,641, a decrease of 145 cases on the 2005 figure.  The report notes that the decrease was due to a staff vacancy in Carlow, and staff absences on maternity and sick leave in services in other areas.  Contacts with treatment services include those by clients continuing in treatment from the previous year, clients who were assessed but not treated, clients who were treated, and concerned persons.  Some 115 concerned persons, family members or close friends of substance users, contacted treatment services in the south-east in 2006. 

The combined total of new referrals who were treated and clients who returned to treatment after an absence was 1,880. Of these: 

·       71% were male and 29% female.

·       8% were under the age of 18, and 44% were aged between 20 and 34.

·       Alcohol (67%) was the most common main problem substance for which treatment was sought, followed by cannabis (14%) and heroin (9%). 

·       The number of clients whose main problem substance was cocaine remained stable at 86.

·       Of the 1,022 clients who had used a drug, 80% reported that cannabis was the first drug they had ever used.

·       776 (41%) clients reported using a secondary substance, the main ones being cannabis (347), alcohol (121) and ecstasy (97). 

·       60% of clients treated for alcohol and 61% treated for a drug as their main problem substance were treated for the first time. 

Of 2,506 clients treated in the south-east in 2006 (including clients continuing in treatment from the previous year), 58 (2%) had injected a substance.

The data presented in this report are useful for planning future services.


1. Kidd M (2005) Data co-ordination overview of drug misuse 2006. Waterford: HSE South Eastern Area.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Issue Title
Issue 24, Winter 2007
October 2007
Page Range
p. 14
Health Research Board
Issue 24, Winter 2007
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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