Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 577 - Substance misuse [56590/22]. [Pregabalin deaths].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 577 - Substance misuse [56590/22]. [Pregabalin deaths]. (15 Nov 2022)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2022...

577. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the number of persons in whose deaths the drug pregabalin was implicated since 2010, by year, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56590/22] 

Frank Feighan, Minister of State at the Department of Health: The National Drug-Related Deaths Index (NDRDI) is the national epidemiological database on drug and alcohol-related deaths and indirect deaths among people with a lifetime history of using drugs and/or were alcohol dependent, in Ireland. It was established so that the State can respond in a timely manner with accurate data on drug and alcohol-related mortality. 

The NDRDI is jointly funded by the Department of Health and the Department of Justice, and is maintained by the Health Research Board. The latest data available is for 2017, as data collection for 2018-2019 was delayed due to Covid-19. It is expected that data for 2018-2019 will be available in early 2023. 

There were 376 drug poisoning deaths in 2017. Prescribable drugs (such as Pregabalin) were implicated in the majority (67%) of these deaths. Over half (58%) of poisoning deaths involved polydrugs. Polydrug use is a significant risk factor for fatal overdose. 

There were 45 Pregabalin implicated poisoning deaths in 2017, a decline from 66 in 2016. Other drugs used in drug poisonings along with Pregabalin included methadone, diazepam, alcohol and heroin. 

Further information on drug-related deaths, including the number of poisoning deaths in which pregabalin was implicated, is available here - National Drug-Related Deaths Index 2008 to 2017 data (hrb.ie).



















~ Less than five deaths.

It is a strategic priority for the remaining years of the national drugs strategy to develop integrated care pathways and harm reduction responses for high-risk drug users so as to achieve better health outcomes for people who are homeless, offenders, stimulant users and injecting drug-users. 

High-risk drug users have complex health and social care needs that make them vulnerable to drug overdose and pre-mature death. Integrated care pathways are required to deliver the best outcomes for this cohort, that connect care settings between GPs, primary/community care providers, community specialist teams and hospital-based specialists. 

I am committed to reducing and preventing drug-related deaths. These deaths are a tragic loss of life and cause grief and devastation for families. Reducing drug-related deaths is a key outcome indicator for the national drugs strategy.

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