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Levels of illegal drug use within Ireland are on the rise

Men and those aged between 15 and 24 have the highest recent use of illegal drugs according to the results of an all-Ireland drug use survey.

shutterstock_474228319 Source: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

THE LEVELS OF illegal drug use are on the rise in Ireland according to the results of a newly-published survey.

The results of the all-Ireland Drug Use Survey show that the levels of recent and current drug use have risen between 2010-11 and 2014-15 for all illegal drugs.

“The overall prevalence rate for last year use of any illegal drug was 8.9% in 2014/15 compared with 7% in 2010/11,” said Professor Catherine Comiskey, chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol (NACDA).

Findings of the report include:

  • Cannabis continues to be the most commonly used drug, with 27.9% of respondents between the ages of 15 and 64 having used it, and 7.7% having used it in the last year
  • Lifetime, last year, and last month usage of ecstasy has increased significantly since 2010, with last year usage increasing from 0.9% to 4.4% in that time
  • In the 25-34 years age group, 22.7% of men have used ecstasy in their lifetime, compared with 10.4% of women
  • One in four males aged between 15 and 24 reported using an illegal drug in the last year, compared with one in eight females in the same period
  • Use of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) such as 251 NBOME (N-Bombs) have decreased, from 3.5% to 0.8% of respondents who said they had taken such a substance in the last year
  • 24% of respondents reported having ever taken anti-depressants

08/11/2016. Drug Use in Ireland Reports. The Minis Catherine Byrne Source: Leah Farrell

However, the “key finding” of the report is that levels of illegal drug use in Ireland have risen all across Ireland, both north and south, in the last five years.

“These new survey findings suggest that there is a continuing need for preventative measures under the National Drugs Strategy that focus on young people, particularly young men, their families and communities and that take account of the gendered nature of substance use,” said Fine Gael TD Catherine Byrne, Minister with responsibility for drugs strategy.

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