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ICGP Working Group. (2006) Drug-related deaths and strategies for prevention. Dublin: Irish College of General Practitioners.

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Drug Related Deaths is an important issue which has been highlighted at the World Health Organization (WHO) and at the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA as being one of the main consequences of drug use and a major cause of death in young people.

In Ireland, a recent report from the Health Research Board, Drug Misuse Division2 reported that the majority of drug related deaths in Ireland occur in Dublin though the numbers of such deaths are increasing outside of Dublin. Current statistics suggest an increase in deaths from 39 (thirty nine) to 90 (ninety) in the Dublin area between 1995 and 2000 and from 4 (four) to 29 (twenty nine) outside of Dublin for the same period of time. While there are acknowledged inaccuracies in how the data is collected and coded it is clear that the numbers of drug related deaths are rising. Some clear risk factors also emerged from the report.

People most at risk include:
1. Male drug users - (75%)
2. Drug users following detoxification
3. Polydrug users - (89% tested positive for more than one substance)
4. Drug users on entry to or on release from prison - 13%
5. Opiates used with alcohol and/or benzodiazepines contributed to many of the deaths
6. Drug users using alone

Drug related deaths have been identified by the EMCDDA as being preventable in many instances. With
suitable education and improved awareness of the issues involved, the ICGP Working Group believes that
lives can be saved and are therefore making the following recommendations:

Pages:4 p.
Publisher:Irish College of General Practitioners
Corporate Creators:ICGP Working Group
Place of Publication:Dublin
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Subjects:B Substances > Opioids (opiates) > Opioid product > Naloxone
G Health and disease > Substance use disorder > Drug use > Drug intoxication > Poisoning (overdose)
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Substance use prevention > Substance use harm reduction
P Demography, epidemiology, and history > Population dynamics > Substance related mortality / death
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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