Home > Drug and alcohol trends in Blanchardstown.

McGuire, Vivion (2016) Drug and alcohol trends in Blanchardstown. Drugnet ireland , Issue 58, Summer 2016 , p. 14.

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On 8 March 2016 Blanchardstown Local Drugs and Alcohol Task Force (BLDATF) launched its Drug and alcohol trends monitoring system (DATMS) 2016.1

 

BLDATF developed the DATMS to provide up-to-date information about drug and alcohol use among people living in Dublin 15. The monitoring system identifies the types of drug being used within the local community, and also identifies emerging trends at an early stage of development. To gather the relevant data, clients of treatment services were interviewed and outreach workers administered questionnaires in the local community.

This type of information is necessary in order to recognise key local issues and to develop appropriate strategies in response. The data will serve as a baseline for local trends from which future variations can be monitored over time.

Key research findings for treated drug and alcohol use

  • The main problem drugs for which adult drug users sought treatment included heroin, methadone, alcohol, cannabis (weed), benzodiazepines, Z drugs and cocaine powder.
  • The main problem drugs for which under-18 year old drug users sought treatment included cannabis (weed) and alcohol. Ecstasy and solvents were involved to a lesser extent.
  • Service providers reported an increase in the use of the following drugs by treated drug users: cannabis (weed), benzodiazepines and Z drugs, crack cocaine, alcohol, Lyrica/Pregabalin (prescribed pain killer) and codeine-based over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
  • The increase in the use of weed related to both treated under-18 and adult drug users. The increase in the use of the other drugs is related to treated adult drug users only.
  • The number of heroin users entering treatment is in decline; clients are an ageing population of long-term users, with fewer young people accessing treatment.
  • Poly-drug use was reported to be the norm by the majority of both treated under-18 and adult drug users.
  • Steroid use by some men in recovery from problematic drug use was in some cases associated with relapse. 

Key research findings for untreated drug and alcohol use

  • Alcohol was the most commonly used drug, with binge drinking being a common occurrence among both males and females.
  • Cannabis (weed) was the second most commonly used drug; among young people frequency of use varied from daily to less frequent use, with some young males reporting daily use before and during school.
  • Cocaine powder, ecstasy and ketamine were the next most commonly used drugs, with benzodiazepines and Z drugs being used to a lesser extent.
  • Service providers reported an increase in the use of these drugs by untreated young drug users aged between 15 and early 20s.
  • Ecstasy has made a ‘resurgence’ in terms of popularity.
  • Ketamine has become increasingly popular over the last twelve months.
  • Poly-drug use was perceived to be the norm, occurring at weekends among young people aged 15 and over.
  • Alcohol was reported to be a fundamental part of poly-drug use. A typical drug-taking session started with alcohol and was then accompanied by other drugs.
  • The frequency of poly-drug use was dependent on the age of the drug user, with those aged 18–30 reporting more regular polydrug use.

Speaking at the launch Jim Doherty, BLDATF Coordinator, said:

Decisions on how to spend the Task Force budget have to be made on the best available evidence of what the needs of the community are. If this evidence isn't already being gathered then the Task Force has to do this job itself. This is what we have done, using the best methods known and asking the community what the issues are. We also intend to keep on doing it on a regular basis, so that we are never out of touch with the community we serve.

1 Blanchardstown Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force (2016) Drug and alcohol trends monitoring system (DATMS) 2016. Dublin: Blanchardstown Local Drugs and Alcohol Task Force. www.drugsandalcohol.ie/25281/

 

Item Type:Article
Issue Title:Issue 58, Summer 2016
Date:August 2016
Page Range:p. 14
Publisher:Health Research Board
Volume:Issue 58, Summer 2016
EndNote:View
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence
B Substances > Cocaine
B Substances > New (novel) psychoactive substances > Gabapentinoids GABA (Pregabalin / Gabapentin)
G Health and disease > Substance use disorder > Alcohol use
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland > Dublin

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