Home > Western Region Drugs & Alcohol Task Force annual report 2016.

Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force. (2017) Western Region Drugs & Alcohol Task Force annual report 2016. Galway: Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force.

PDF (Western Region Drugs & Alcohol Task Force annual report 2016) - Published Version

1.1 An Overview of the Drug Problem in the Western Region

  • Alcohol remains the most widely abused substance in the Western Region. The Galway City Alcohol Survey (2015) interviewed 500 adults aged 18+ found 38% of drinkers screened positive for alcohol problems, 22% for alcohol abuse, and 11% for alcohol dependency. A high level of this drinking occurs outside of the pub environment. This is in line with national prevalence rates which suggest Ireland has the second highest rate of binge drinking in the world (WHO, 2014).
  • Poly-substance-use is an on-going concern within the Western Region. People presenting Opioid Substitute Treatment (OST) may also be prescribed additional prescription medication to assist their treatment. Conversely, some people may also take unprescribed benzodiazepine, zimovane, lyrica.
  • Benzodiazepine misuse is increasingly reported among young people. This drug appears to be used as a recreational drug that is cheap and accessible. The consequence of regular use i.e. dependency is unclear among this cohort as is the reported misuse.
  • Opiates notably heroin, historically a Dublin centric issue are an ever increasing problem in the Western Region. Heroin use is becoming more evident in Galway City and increased reporting of heroin use in smaller regional towns.
  • Cannabis use in the school-aged population is on the increase and the pupil’s attitudes are far more tolerant of the drug. Services are reporting concerns about some young people being negatively affected by cannabis use and dropping out of school. The Roscommon Schools Drugs and Alcohol Survey (2016) involved 2,280 pupils in the 9 secondary schools found second level students are more likely to experiment with cannabis than reported in 2012. This survey also shows an overall increase in lifetime use of 63%. Students reporting more regular use shows a small increase of 15% on 2012.
  • Significant increase in the sale and supply of drugs amongst the student population in Galway City. Garda reports suggest the number of search warrants being executed at student accommodation facilities has risen in recent months and it is apparent that the sale of supply of drugs in affluent amongst the student population. Anecdotal evidence from the students union suggest an large increase in the use of, ketamine, and GHB as well as regular reported use of cannabis ecstasy, mephedrone, cocaine.
  • Cannabis cultivation arrests are becoming a common theme. Garda are reporting sophisticated operative designed to cultivate large amounts of cannabis herb. See Fig 1 for cultivation or manufacture of drugs arrests in Galway, Mayo, Roscommon.
Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
70 p.
Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force
Corporate Creators
Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)
Related (external) link

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