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Home > National Self-Harm Registry Ireland annual report 2017.

Griffin, Eve and Dillon, Christina B and McTernan, Niall and Arensman, Ella and Williamson, Eileen and Perry, Ivan J and Corcoran, Paul (2018) National Self-Harm Registry Ireland annual report 2017. Cork: National Suicide Research Foundation.

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This is the sixteenth annual report from the National Self-Harm Registry Ireland. It is based on data collected on persons presenting to hospital emergency departments following self-harm in 2017 in the Republic of Ireland. The Registry had near complete coverage of the country’s hospitals for the period 2002-2005 and, since 2006, all general hospital and paediatric hospital emergency departments in the Republic of Ireland have contributed data to the Registry.

Role of alcohol in self-harm:
Alcohol was involved in 31% of all cases. Alcohol was significantly more often involved in male episodes of self-harm than female episodes (33% and 29%, respectively).

In line with previous years, misuse or abuse of alcohol is one of the factors associated with the higher rate of self-harm presentations on Sundays, Mondays and public holidays, around the hours of midnight. Recent publications from the Registry data have highlighted the role of alcohol in selfharm. Such complex presentations indicate the need for active consultation and collaboration between the mental health services and addiction treatment services for patients who present with dual diagnoses. In addition, alcohol involvement has been shown to be strongly associated with self-harm presentations out-of-hours, at weekends and on public holidays. The Registry findings related to alcohol provide further support for the full implementation of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, which would introduce evidence-based policies to reduce the burden of alcohol harm on our society by improving health, safety and wellbeing.

Restricting access to means:
…In line with previous years, drug overdose was the most common method of self-harm recorded. Over the years, the Registry has identified the drug types most frequently involved in intentional overdoses. New research has classified the range of drugs recorded by the Registry according to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification system. This work has systematically classified the wide range of drugs involved in intentional overdoses, and will be instrumental in facilitating comparative work in this area. This system has allowed for examination of trends in specific drug types, with a recent publication highlighting the increasing involvement of gabapentinoids (prescription-only neuropathic pain medication). Despite a decrease in their involvement in intentional overdose in 2017, minor tranquillisers have been the most frequently used type of drug involved in intentional overdoses. Reducing access to frequently used drugs should be an ongoing priority.


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