Home > The opiate epidemic in Dublin: are we over the worst?

Dean, Geoffrey and O'Hare, Aileen and O'Connor, Aideen and Kelly, M and Kelly, Grainne (1987) The opiate epidemic in Dublin: are we over the worst? Irish Medical Journal, 80, (5), pp. 139-142.

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The opiate epidemic in Dublin peaked in 1983 and this paper reports on more recent information from the Jervis Street Drug Centre showing a decline in the number of first attenders for opiate misuse at the Centre from 451 in 1983 to 116 in 1985. However, there were 109 first attenders in the first six months for 1986. Twenty-one per cent of opiate attenders had been using drugs for seven or more years prior to their first contact for treatment at the Centre in 1984, the majority of whom were self-referred. A high proportion of opiate users (85%) attending for treatment in 1984 had needle marks, indicating the preference in Dublin for injecting rather than for sniffing or smoking heroin. Sixty-five per cent who admitted heroin misuse in 1984 were unemployed. While the overall drop in the numbers contacting the service for treatment for the first time for opiate misuse since 1983 is to be welcomed, there is need for concern at the rise in the number of first contacts during the first six months of 1986 and at the major health hazard that may result from infection by the HIV virus responsible for AIDS. In a sample of 398 intravenous opiate users, 27% were positive for the virus.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
May 1987
Page Range
pp. 139-142
Irish Medical Organisation
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