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Men in Ireland have less regret over being drunk than women, study suggests

The Global Drugs Survey 2020 found respondents in Ireland were drunk more times in a year than the global average.

MEN IN IRELAND tend to regret being drunk with less frequency than women, research in a new study suggests.

On average, men in Ireland regret 35.3% of occasions when they became drunk, whereas women regret getting drunk 48.8% of the time.

2,189 people in Ireland participated in the Global Drugs Survey 2020, which collected and compared data on drug use in nearly 30 countries between November 2019 and February 2020. 

Overall, respondents from Ireland were drunk more times in a year than the global average – 25.9 times in Ireland compared to 20.8 globally.

Researchers said that countries that reported getting drunk more often usually had less regret.

“While this might reflect the younger age of participants in these countries, it may also reflect the greater cultural acceptability of getting drunk and drinking as a rite of passage in these regions,” they said.

Globally, participants regretted 29.6% of the times they were drunk, with Colombia, Argentina and Mexico reporting the highest levels of regret and Australia, the United States and Denmark having the least regret.

The most common behaviours that came with people regretting being drunk were drinking two quickly, mixing their drinks, being with “big drinkers”, and taking other drugs at the same time.

“The top reasons people report getting drunk and regretting it are all totally avoidable,” the GDS said.

“Our top tips to avoid regret when drinking, beyond drinking less, are 1) slow down, 2) don’t mix your drinks, and 3) avoid hanging out with big drinkers.”

A bad hangover, saying something that wouldn’t normally have said, and increased anxiety the next day were the most common reasons people regretted being drunk for both men and women. 

Drug use

Aside from alcohol, the survey looked at the use of a range of different drugs globally.

However, it notes that the rates of drug use in the sample are “significantly higher when compared to the general population”.

“The data can be used to describe use patterns and identify new drug trends. The majority of our participants tend to be young, experienced with the use of illicit drugs, and employed or in education. We have included questions that are relevant to marginalised and vulnerable groups of people who use drugs, yet these groups are largely underrepresented online.”

Globally, 40% of the participants used cannabis in the twelve months before the survey, with 56.2% having used it at some point in their lives.

Cocaine was used by 30.2% in the last year and 44% during their lifetime, while MDMA was used by 43.0% and 23.8% respectively.

During their lives, between 20 and 30% of participants have used:

  • Electronic Cigarettes
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Magic Mushrooms
  • Prescription Opioids
  • Amphetamine
  • Ketamine
  • Cannabis (CBD)
  • LSD

Among people who used drugs in a global sample, heroin was seen as the best “value for money”, followed by GHB/GHL and LSD.

Cocaine, cannabis, alcohol purchased in a bar and inhaled alcohol were considered the least value for money.

The survey said that the “fall from economic grace for cannabis is striking and may reflect both the production and marketing of higher potency products, the growth of a regulated market as well as the many regular consumers reflecting on their weekly expenditure”.

“Value for money is an important metric, especially when we consider how a regulated market can exert control over pricing through taxation,” it said.

“As drugs, including alcohol become more expensive people use less often. Less use is associated with less harm. Drugs with relatively good safety profiles that are used least often such as LSD and magic mushrooms offer an example of how we can help market and regulate drugs to reduce risk of harm.”

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