Prevalence Data

 How many people use alcohol and other drugs in Ireland?

Drug prevalence is the proportion of a population who have used drugs in a given time period.

This webpage provides links to key surveys and other studies that provide information on prevalence of use in Ireland, and on substance use behaviour and attitudes.

The National Drug and Alcohol Survey (NDAS) collects information on alcohol and tobacco consumption and drug use among the general population in Ireland. It also surveys people’s attitudes and perceptions relating to tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use and records the impact of drug use on people’s communities. The 2019–20 NDAS collected information from 5,762 people aged 15 years and older across Ireland.
The 2019–20 Irish National Drug and Alcohol Survey: main findings report
Gambling in the Republic of Ireland. Results from the 2019–20 National Drug and Alcohol Survey
National population surveys have taken place in Ireland, every four to five years since 2002. Click this link for prevous national survey reports,
The main purpose of the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) is to collect comparable data on substance use among European students aged 15 and 16 in order to monitor trends within, as well as between, countries. The 2019 wave of the ESPAD survey marked the 7th occasion that Ireland has participated in this collaborative international project. Findings were published in November 2020.
2019 ESPAD survey European results 
2019 ESPAD survey Irish results 
Online ESPAD explorer tool - explore, visualise and analyse data from past surveys
The Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study 2018 is the sixth time that data of this kind have been collected from young people (school going children aged 9-18 years) across the Republic of Ireland. Substance use questions cover tobacco, alcohol and cannabis use.

Trends in health behaviours, health outcomes and contextual factors between 1998-2018: findings from the Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study.

Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study 2018 
HBSC Ireland 2014: alcohol and cannabis use in school-children in Ireland.

Growing up in the West. Planet Youth county reports 2020, published April 2021 - Galway, Mayo, Roscommon.

State of the nations children: key findings 2021 and children's outcomes
The Health Research Board's National Drug and Alcohol Survey (NDAS) collects information on alcohol and tobacco, and drug use among the general population in Ireland. The NDAS also surveys people’s attitudes and perceptions relating to tobacco, alcohol and other drug use and records the impact of drug use on people’s communities. The 2019/20 NDAS collected information from 5,762 people aged 15 and over across Ireland. This is the fifth such survey undertaken in Ireland, providing an opportunity to observe trends over time.

You can use these tables to create cross tabulations and answer your own specific research question.

View National Drugs and Alcohol Survey results