Treatment Data

How many people in Ireland are in treatment for drug and alcohol use?

The National Drug Treatment Reporting System (NDTRS) collects anonymous data about people in drug and alcohol treatment from general practitioners, low threshold services (that provide low-dose methadone or drop-in facilities only), outpatient and inpatient centres.

Through interactive tables on our website you can search for the latest treatment data on eight different types of drug, including alcohol. The results of your analysis can be organised by year, age group, gender and geographical region of residence, and groups of variables

Or you can read the latest reports from the NDTRS:

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Infographic showing key data from drug treatment report
Infographic showing key data from drug treatment report for cocaine, cannabis and polydrug use

Infographic showing key data from alcohol treatment report
Infographic showing key data from alcohol treatment report

The NDTRS is a database that contains anonymous information about people in drug and alcohol treatment in Ireland. Information is collected from general practitioners, low-threshold services (that provide low-dose methadone or drop-in facilities only), outpatient and inpatient centres.

  • Treatment is broadly defined as any activity which aims to ameliorate the psychological, medical or social state of individuals who seek help for their substance misuse problems. Clients who attend needle-exchange services are not included in this reporting system.
  • Treatment is provided in both residential and non-residential settings. Treatment options include the following: medication (detoxification, methadone reduction, substitution programmes and psychiatric treatment), brief intervention, counselling, group therapy, family therapy, psychotherapy, complementary therapy and life-skills training.

NDTRS information is used by policy makers and service providers

  • to monitor patterns of drug misuse
  • to inform local and national drugs polices
  • to develop strategies and target resources
  • to assess treatment demand and plan service provision
  • to identify the characteristics of clients entering treatment
  • to develop appropriate treatment responses.
NDTRS data are reported to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and form part of their annual report on the drug situation in Europe.

Data collection for the NDTRS is carried out via an online web-based system. For detailed information about this, and/or how to contribute / participate, please contact the team at ndtrs(at)hrb.ie

The information collected includes:

  • administrative details;
  • demographic, social and economic characteristics;
  • parameters to measure access to treatment;
  • treatment status (new versus previously treated cases);
  • ranked problem substance use in the month preceding the current treatment contact;
  • risk behaviours (associated with injecting drug use) and initial treatment type.

NDTRS data collection documents: 

NDTRS data collection form (A3 PDF) - A3 sized form that captures the following data: Demographic details; Referral/assessment details; Treatment details; Drug use; Risk behaviour; Activity details; Exit details.

Guide to completing the NDTRS Data collection form - Revised 2019

 

If your service provides treatment for problem drug and alcohol use, it is very important that you participate in the NDTRS so that there is a complete overview of treatment demand for problem substance use in Ireland. To participate in the NDTRS, please contact the NDTRS team at ndtrs(at)hrb.ie

Service providers: Analysis of the data collected is provided, on request, to treatment providers, managers and taskforce co-ordinators who participate in the NDTRS by contacting ndtrs@hrb.ie

 

For researchers, and all others requiring data please see our special interactive tables on the library website at www.drugsandalcohol.ie, you can search treatment data on nine different types of drug, including alcohol. The results of your analysis can be organised by year, age group, gender and geographical region of residence (county, HSE region, local health office, regional or local drugs task force area), and groups of variables.

 

If the data you need is not available through the tables, please complete the National Health Information Systems (NHIS) data request form and accept the terms and conditions for use of NDTRS data.  The form is a PDF in editable format and when filled out can be returned to: ndtrs@hrb.ie