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Home > Treated problem drug use in Ireland: Figures for 2007 from the National Drug Treatment Reporting System.

Health Research Board. Alcohol and Drug Research Unit. (2009) Treated problem drug use in Ireland: Figures for 2007 from the National Drug Treatment Reporting System. Dublin: Health Research Board.

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There were 13,620 cases treated in 2007, of which 5,977 entered treatment in that year. As in 2006, the majority of cases attended outpatient services. The number of individuals in methadone treatment from the preceding calendar year and carried forward on 1 January increased from 7,269 in 2006 to 7,643 in 2007. (Tables 1 and 2)

The average annual incidence for the period 2003 to 2007 was highest in Waterford, Louth, Wexford and Carlow, with all reporting more than 100 cases per 100,000 of their population. (Figure 2)

The prevalence of treated problem drug use among 15-64-year-olds living in Ireland expressed per 100,000 of the population increased by 4%, from 426 in 2006 to 445 in 2007. (Figure 4)

New cases entering treatment are an indirect indicator of recent trends in problem drug use.

The incidence of treated problem drug use among 15-64-year-olds per 100,000 of the population living in Ireland increased from 75 in 2006 to 80 in 2007. (Figure 4)

An opiate (mainly heroin) was the most common main problem drug reported by all cases entering treatment. (Table 7)

The main problem drugs reported by new cases in 2007 were opiates (42.7%), cannabis (28.7%) and cocaine (19.1%). The proportion of new cases treated for opiates and cocaine has increased since 2006; however, the proportion of new cases treated for cannabis has decreased. (Table 7)

The majority of cases treated in 2007 reported problem drug use of more than one substance (67.1%), which was slightly lower than in 2006 (71.1%). Polysubstance use increases the complexity of these cases, and is associated with poorer treatment outcomes. (Table 8)

Cannabis (42.7%) and cocaine (35.8%) were the two most common additional problem drugs reported in 2007, similar to 2006. However, alcohol was reported as an additional problem substance in 40% of all treated cases. Polysubstance use increases the complexity of these cases, and is associated with poorer treatment outcomes. (Table 10)

In total, 473 new injector cases entered treatment in 2007, an increase of 50 cases since 2006. Almost half of these were still injecting on entry to treatment and 48% reported sharing injecting equipment, again an increase from 2006. (Table 12)

In general, problem drug users in treatment are young and male, have low levels of education and are unlikely to be employed. Almost 14% of all new cases treated in 2007 were aged under 18 years of age, a slight increase from 2006. Almost 3% of previously treated cases were aged under 18 years, similar to 2006. (Table 13)

This document should be cited as: Alcohol and Drug Research Unit of the Health Research Board (2009) Treated problem drug use in Ireland: Figures for 2007 from the National Drug Treatment Reporting System. Available at www.hrb.ie/publications


Item Type
Report
Date
March 2009
Pages
32 p.
Publisher
Health Research Board
Corporate Creators
Health Research Board. Alcohol and Drug Research Unit
Place of Publication
Dublin
EndNote
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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