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The HSE wants drug users to fill out survey to discover trends - and figure out harm reductions

Health officers want to find out more about the increasing use of ketamine in Ireland.

THE HSE IS calling for people aged 18 and over who have used drugs at least once in the past year to fill out a survey to help discover drug trends and inform harm reduction needs in Ireland.

The anonymous survey is open for Irish participation for a six-week period, starting from today, and has been launched in partnership with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) to find out about drug use trends in Europe.

The final results will be used to inform EU and Irish reports, as well as the development of harm reduction responses in Ireland. 

Emerging drug trends manager at the HSE National Social Inclusion Office, Nicki Killeen, said that it is an “extremely” important time to conduct research on drug use in Ireland.

“We know the landscape has significantly changed with more people now using drugs who may never have received drug education, information or support,” she said. 

“We hope to understand a number of key areas specific to Ireland, such as the use of ketamine which is increasing but missing from other areas of research. The Irish specific sections will focus on drug information, harm reduction and support needs, drug use in nightlife and the HSE Safer Nightlife Programme as well as on the substance HHC which we currently know very little about.”

Coordinated by the EMCDDA, 36 countries will be taking part in this year’s survey to capture the most current landscape and to compare trends across regions.

The last survey took place in 2021, with almost 6,000 respondents taking part.

Brian Galvin, of the Health Research Board, said that the results from the survey will offer a crucial insight into the prevalence of certain drugs nationally.

“The insights from this survey will be invaluable for policymakers to better understand behaviours, develop effective policies, plan new initiatives and monitor impacts,” he said.

The survey can be found here

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