Home > Report on drug and alcohol use in the Midland region.

Lyons, Suzi (2010) Report on drug and alcohol use in the Midland region. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 34, Summer 2010, pp. 25-26.

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Minister Pat Carey of the Department of Community, Equality and Rural Affairs launched the report of a study on drug and alcohol use in the Midland region on 7 May.1 Commissioned by the Midland Regional Drugs Task Force, the aim of the study was to establish an evidence base for drug-related issues in the Midland region to inform the development of appropriate response strategies. The study used information from several different sources, including national drug prevalence data, the National Drug Treatment Reporting System (NDTRS) and the Central Statistics Office. Interviews and focus groups were also conducted with key informants (e.g. service providers, drug users, family members) in four selected communities in the region.  

Many of the issues identified were common to all four communities and could be generalised to the whole of the Midland region. The report highlights these issues and makes some key recommendations:
  • Expand and improve existing addiction services to cope with increasing numbers of individuals requiring treatment for drug and alcohol problems.
  •  Facilitate access to addiction services by reducing waiting lists and by addressing issues of distance and adequate transportation when locating new or expanded services.
  •  Expand harm reduction programmes and set up additional ones as needed.
  •  Improve access to methadone treatment and reduce waiting lists by increasing the number of general practitioners providing methadone in the community and by expanding and improving existing services.
  • Improve access to detoxification, rehabilitation and aftercare services in line with the recommendations of the report of the HSE Working Group on Residential Treatment and Rehabilitation.2
  •  Address problem alcohol use in a more comprehensive way, not only by providing adequate treatment facilities but also by adopting broader strategies, including education, increased taxation and regulation.
  •   Address the lack of adequate services for under-18s by providingadolescent-specific services offering a complete, integrated range of services, in line with the recommendations of the Department of Health and Children.3
  •  Improve drug awareness education for all age groups.
  •  Reduce drug-related deaths by using strategies such as providing education in overdose prevention and training in basic life support.
  •  Provide social reintegration services to recovering and former drug users through accommodation, re-training and employment supports.
  •  Evidence of drug crime, such as drug markets, was found in the region. A partnership approach involving all the key stakeholders is one strategy to tackle this problem. 
1.     Lyons S, Robinson J, Carew AM, Gibney S, Connolly J and Long J (2010) Close to home: a study on the misuse of drugs and alcohol in the Midland region. Tullamore: Midland Regional Drugs Task Force.
2.     O'Gorman A and Corrigan D (2008) Report of the HSE working group on residential treatment and rehabilitation (substance users). Dublin: HSE.
3.     Working Group on treatment of under 18 year olds (2005) Report of the working group on treatment of under 18 year olds presenting to treatment services with serious drug problems. Dublin: Department of Health and Children.
Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Issue Title
Issue 34, Summer 2010
Page Range
pp. 25-26
Health Research Board
Issue 34, Summer 2010
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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