Home > Substance misuse in the eastern counties of HSE South.

Condron, Ita (2013) Substance misuse in the eastern counties of HSE South. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 45, Spring 2013, p. 13.

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The Health Service Executive (HSE) South published the report Data co-ordination overview of drug misuse 2011 in November 2012.1 This overview reports on treated substance misuse in the south-eastern counties of Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford. The report comprises sections relating to treatment services and substance-related offences in the region. 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 region. 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 individuals seeking treatment in 2011 was 3,736, an increase of 218 on the 2010 figure.  Some 217 concerned persons (family members or close friends of substance users) contacted treatment services in the south east in 2011.
Excluding clients who were assessed only and those who were treated for addictions other than substance misuse, the combined total of continuous care clients and new referrals treated for substance misuse in 2011 was 3,022.  Of these:
·         69% were male and 31% were female.
·         7% were under the age of 18, and 22.5% were aged between 18 and 24.
·         57% were aged under 35.
·         Alcohol (61%) was the most common main problem substance for which treatment was sought, followed by cannabis (16%), heroin (15%), and cocaine (3%). Heroin, which had been second in this ranking between 2008 and 2010, was overtaken by cannabis in 2011.
·         Between 2010 and 2011 the number of clients treated for alcohol as their main problem substance increased by 15%, the number treated for cannabis use increased by 9% and the number treated for benzodiazepine use increased by 21%.  The figures for treated cocaine use continued to fall, with a decrease of 32% between 2010 and 2011.
A total of 2,540 clients exited the services in 2011. Less than half (41%) of these clients completed treatment; 30% refused  further sessions or did not return for subsequent appointments; 14% did not wish to attend further sessions as they considered themselves to be stable; 9% were transferred to another site for further treatment; 2% exited because of non-compliance, 3% exited for other reasons, and 0.6% had died.
1. Kidd M (2012) Data co-ordination overview of drug misuse 2011. Waterford: HSE South. www.drugsandalcohol.ie/19088

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