Skip Page Header

Home > National Drug Treatment Reporting System 2014 – 2020 alcohol treatment data.

O'Neill, Derek and Carew, Anne Marie and Lyons, Suzi (2021) National Drug Treatment Reporting System 2014 – 2020 alcohol treatment data. Dublin: Health Research Board.

[img]
Preview
PDF (NDTRS 2014 – 2020 alcohol treatment data) - Published Version
180kB

Overview

In this seven-year period, 51,205 cases were treated for alcohol as a main problem.

  • The number of cases treated decreased from 7,546 in 2019 to 5,824 in 2020, a drop of 22.8%.
  • The proportion of new cases decreased from 48.6% in 2014 to 42.8% in 2020.

 

Level of problem alcohol use

  • In 2020, the median age at which cases first started drinking alcohol was 16 years.
  • Over the period, almost two-in-every-three (66.1%) cases were classified as alcohol dependent.
  • In 2020, 57.2% of new cases were classified as alcohol dependent as compared to 53.2% in 2014.
  • The proportion of previously treated cases classified as alcohol dependent increased from 66.6% in 2014 to 72.1% in 2020.

 

Socio-demographics

  • In 2020, the median age of treated cases was 41 years, similar to previous years.
  • The majority of cases in 2020 were male (61.9%).
  • The proportion of cases with an Irish Traveller ethnicity was 2.7% in 2014 and 2.1% in2020.
  • Almost half (49.2%) of cases in 2020 were unemployed.
  • The proportion of cases that were homeless increased from 6.4% in 2014 to 8.5% in 2020.
  • In 2020, 10.7% of males and 4.8% of females were recorded as homeless.
  • Among female cases recorded in 2020, 26.3% (583) were residing with children aged 17 years or younger, as compared to 12.0% (432) of all male cases.
  • In 2020, almost one-third (32.6%) of females were aged 50 years and over compared to one-quarter (25.7%) of males.

 

Polydrug use

Polydrug use was reported by almost one-quarter (23.1%) of those treated for problem alcohol use.

  • Cannabis was the most common additional drug used. The proportion of cases reporting cannabis use declined from 63.2% in 2014 to 54.9% in 2020.
  • Cocaine was the second most common additional drug recorded. This has increased from 28.2% in 2014 to 54.1% in 2020.
  • In 2020, cocaine as an additional drug was more common among males (55.6%) than among females (50.3%)
  • Benzodiazepines were the third most common additional drug reported (24.6%) in 2020.
  • Opioids were the fourth most common additional drug reported (11.6%) in 2020.
  • In 2020, opioids as an additional problem drug were more common among females (14.6%) than among males (10.4%).

Repository Staff Only: item control page