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Home > Drug use in Ireland and Northern Ireland drug prevalence survey 2010/11: Regional Drug Task Force (Ireland) and Health and Social Services Trust (Northern Ireland) results. Bulletin 2.

National Advisory Committee on Drugs, Public Health Information and Research Branch. (2012) Drug use in Ireland and Northern Ireland drug prevalence survey 2010/11: Regional Drug Task Force (Ireland) and Health and Social Services Trust (Northern Ireland) results. Bulletin 2. Dublin: National Advisory Committee on Drugs & Public Health Information and Research Branch.

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This bulletin presents key findings at a local level from the third drug prevalence survey of households in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. The survey sampled a representative number of people aged between 15 and 64 during late 2010 and early 2011. The survey was carried out according to standards set by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

This bulletin presents results relating to drug prevalence on a lifetime, last year (recent) and last month (current) basis for illegal and other drugs including alcohol and tobacco for each Regional Drug Task Force Area (former Health Board areas) in Ireland, and Health and Social Care Trust (HSCT) in Northern Ireland.

Findings from the report include:
• There are differences in illegal drug use between the regions in Ireland, with last year prevalence highest in South West Regional Drugs Taskforce (Kildare/West Wicklow and South West Dublin) and Northern Regional Drugs Taskforce (RDTF) areas (North Dublin) and lowest in the North West RDTF area,
• The differences between regions have become smaller compared with results from the 2006/7 survey. Drug use in regions of high prevalence has declined while drug use in regions of low prevalence has stabilised or increased slightly. As a result drug use is not as concentrated in the regions along the east coast as was the case in 2006,
• Cannabis continues to be the most commonly used illegal drug in all regions in Ireland, followed by psychoactive substances and cocaine,
• The profile of illegal drug users is similar across all regions in Ireland: with, in general, men more likely than women, and young adults more likely than older adults to use any illegal drugs,
• There is no evidence of a narrowing of the gap between men and women’s use of illegal drugs in any of the regional drug task force areas,
• Of the licit substances surveyed, alcohol continues to be the most commonly used in all regions. Since earlier surveys the regional pattern of alcohol consumption has converged over time,
• The report finds regional differences in the use of prescription/over-the counter medicines. Recent use of other opiates is highest in the Western and Southern areas and lowest in the North Western regional drug task force area. Recent use of sedatives and/or tranquillisers and recent use of anti-depressants is highest in the North East and lowest in the North West areas,
• Consumption of alcohol and tobacco are higher among younger adults in many regions in Ireland,
• While men are more likely to consume illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco, in all regions women are more likely to consume prescription/over-the-counter medicines.


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