Home > Treated problem drug use in Ireland: figures for 2008.

Carew, Anne Marie (2010) Treated problem drug use in Ireland: figures for 2008. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 33, Spring 2010, p. 14.

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Figures from the National Drug Treatment Reporting System (NDTRS) for treated problem drug use in Ireland in 2008 by HSE area of residence are currently available on the HRB website.1 

Some of the main results are:  
  • In total, 14,518 cases were treated in 2008, of whom 6,576 entered treatment in that year. The majority of cases attended outpatient services. 
  • The prevalence of treated problem drug use among 15–64-year-olds living in Ireland, per 100,000 of the population, increased by 5%, from 444 in 2007 to 466 in 2008.  
  • 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 living in Ireland, per 100,000 of the population, increased from 79.6 in 2007 to 85.8 in 2008.   
An opiate (mainly heroin) was the most common main problem drug reported by cases entering treatment.  Alcohol was reported as an additional problem substance in 41.4% of all treated cases.  The majority of cases treated in 2008 reported problem use of more than one substance (70.0%), which was almost 3% higher than the 2007 figure. Cannabis (40.7%) and cocaine (36.8%) were the two most common additional problem drugs reported in 2008. The proportion of cases treated for benzodiazepines as an additional problem substance increased by 7.5% between 2007 and 2008. Polysubstance use increases the complexity of these cases, and is associated with poorer treatment outcomes. 
 
In total, 561 new injector cases entered treatment in 2008, an increase of 88 cases on the 2007 figure. More than two in five of these cases were still injecting on entry to treatment, and 43% reported sharing injecting equipment, a decrease on the 2007 figure. 
 
Many problem drug users in treatment are young and male, have low levels of education and are unlikely to be employed.
 
Over 14% of new cases and more than 3% of previously treated cases in 2008 were aged under 18 years, a slight increase on the 2007 figure in both cases. The proportion of new cases in employment decreased by more than 5% between 2007 and 2008.
 
Significant improvements in the NDTRS data collection processes and procedures mean that the HRB is now able to report on the information collected from treatment centres on a more regular basis.

 

1. Alcohol and Drug Research Unit (2010) Treated problem drug use in Ireland: figures for 2008 from the National Drug Treatment Reporting System. Dublin: Health Research Board. Available at www.drugsandalcohol.ie/12771

Item Type
Article
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Issue Title
Issue 33, Spring 2010
Date
19 April 2010
Page Range
p. 14
Publisher
Health Research Board
Volume
Issue 33, Spring 2010
EndNote

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