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Connolly, Johnny (2014) Young people’s access to drugs. Drugnet Ireland , Issue 51, Autumn 2014 , p. 16.

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A Flash Eurobarometer survey on young people and drugs was undertaken in June 2014. Some 13,128 respondents aged 15–24 in the 28 EU member states from different social and demographic groups were interviewed via telephone. Five hundred young people from Ireland participated in the survey. Part of the survey dealt with perceived availability of drugs. Around a quarter of respondents across the EU believed it would be easy to obtain cocaine, new substances that imitate the effects of illicit drugs and ecstasy, and over half believed it would be easy to obtain cannabis. 

The proportion of Irish respondents who responded that it was ‘very easy’ to obtain certain substances was above the proportion across all member states for all substances, except tobacco. Of the Irish respondents 40% said cannabis was ‘very easy’ to obtain compared to 29% of all respondents. Ecstasy was regarded as very easy to obtain by 19% of Irish respondents compared to 7% across all member states. Perceived availability of heroin was broadly similar across all member states at 4–5%. 

Ireland is sometimes regarded as a sub-market of the UK for certain drugs. However, the survey also revealed that perceived availability of all substances except new substances that imitate the effects of illicit drugs was higher among Irish respondents than their UK counterparts. In relation to ‘new substances’, 13% of UK respondents perceived them to be ‘very easy’ to obtain compared to 9% of Irish respondents and 7% across the EU. 

In response to a question about the supply of ‘new substances that imitate the effects of illicit drugs’ during the previous 12 months, most respondents across the EU reported receiving them from a friend. The second main supply source was a ‘drug dealer’, with Ireland below the EU average (24%/ vs 27%) but the UK, at 39%, was 12% higher than the EU average. Only 3% of respondents reported buying new substances via the internet; in Ireland, the figure was 5%.

Item Type:Article
Issue Title:Issue 51, Autumn 2014
Date:October 2014
Page Range:p. 16
Publisher:Health Research Board
Volume:Issue 51, Autumn 2014
Subjects:MM-MO Crime and law > Substance related offence > Drug offence > Illegal distribution of drugs (drug market / dealing)
T Demographic characteristics > Adolescent / youth (teenager / young person)
VA Geographic area > Europe

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