HRB updates on treated drug use

HRB releases updated report on treated drug use

The Health Research Board has published latest figures on drug treatment, for the period 2010-2016. Opiates (mainly heroin) continue to be the most commonly reported drug, although the proportion of cases treated has decreased from 58% (5,115 cases) in 2010, to 47% (4,341 cases) in 2016, illustrating further that the type and nature of treated drug problems is changing.  Cannabis cases have increased from 23% (2,025 cases) in 2010 to 26% (2,439) of all cases in 2016. It is also the most commonly reported drug by NEW cases. The proportion of all cases who were homeless has almost doubled, increasing from 5% (453) in 2010 to 10% (886) in 2016. The proportion of cases treated who identified as Travellers has also increased from 2.8% (245) in 2010, to 3.2% (296) in 2016. The proportion of Travellers in the general population is 0.7% (2016 Census). A very high proportion of cases were unemployed. The proportion of cases unemployed increased from 63% (5,547) in 2010 to 66% (6,107) in 2016. Interestingly, the proportion of all cases treated who reported ever injecting remained relatively stable over the reporting period at around one-third of all cases, while the proportion of cases new to treatment reporting ever injecting has decreased slightly from 15% (570) in 2010 to 14% (476) in 2016.

Full information: press release, infographic and the report are all available on the HRB website    

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