Home > Smoking, alcohol and drug use in Cork and Kerry.

Jackson, Tim (1997) Smoking, alcohol and drug use in Cork and Kerry. Cork: Southern Health Board.

PDF (Smoking, alcohol and drug use in Cork and Kerry) - Published Version

This survey on Smoking, Alcohol and Drug Use in Cork and Kerry is a comprehensive and scientific examination of the interaction between these substances in Cork and Kerry. It provides a baseline epidemiological profile of substance use in the community.

The following were the main findings of the report:
• Almost two thirds had ever smoked. Over a third were currently smoking (38%). Numbers of current smokers in women were almost equal to men.
• 78% of the population drank alcohol currently - 81 % of men and 75% of women. Almost 90% of those in age group 20-24 years were current drinkers. Almost half of those under the legal age of 18 years, were current drinkers (44%) - half of these were boys (50%) and a fifth were girls (20%).
• Almost a quarter of the men drank in excess of recognised guidelines of 21 units per week. As estimated by the CAGE screening test, there were high numbers of men with problem/dependent drinking - almost one in ten (8%). This was highest for the age group 20-24 years at 13%. Such high levels at that young age group has serious implications.

This is the only survey of drug consumption in general population in Ireland into adulthood. Other surveys in Ireland are on young populations who are either at school or have just left school.

• Almost one in five had used a drug in their lifetime (Lifetime use - 18%). Drugs used were mainly Cannabis, Hallucinogens, and Stimulants. One in fourteen had used a drug in the last year (Recent use - 7%), and one in twenty five had used a drug in the last month (Current use - 4%). Only 1 % had taken Opiates in their lifetime. Heroin use was scarcely detected, and there was almost no injecting drug use. Age group 20-24 years showed the highest Lifetime use of drugs at one in three (30%).
• Drug use showed a strong association with current smoking and alcohol use. Smokers and drinkers showed drug use of up to three times that of those who did not smoke or drink.

Alcohol is still the dominant drug of misuse in terms of prevalence and problem use. Smoking and Alcohol use precede drug use and are highly associated with increased drug use. Cannabis, LSD and Ecstasy are the main drugs used and are widely available.

Repository Staff Only: item control page