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The prevalence of treated problem drug use in Ireland rose by 27% between 1998 and 2002, according to a new report.
A report from the Health Research Board (HRB) shows that more than 33,350 cases aged between 15 and 64 years were treated for problem drug use in Ireland between 1998 and 2002.
The HRB report shows that more than one quarter of the cases presenting for treatment were being treated for the first time.
According to Dr Jean Long of the HRB, the increase in numbers reflects three things?an increased number of places available for treatment; the need for problem drug users to return for repeat treatment over time and an increase in the number of service providers reporting treated cases to the monitoring system maintained by the HRB.
Across Ireland, the incidence of treated drug use increased by 24% from 1998 to 2001, but decreased by 6% between 2001 and 2002.
Dr Long said the decrease in 2002 hides two trends.
"The number of treated cases almost trebled outside Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare between 1998 and 2002, while the incidence of treated problem drug use decreased, specifically for opiates like heroin, in Dublin."
Dr Long said the increase outside the eastern region may reflect an increase in the availability of treatment services and an increase in drug use, while the decrease in the greater Dublin area is most likely to be a result of a decrease in new opiate uses in Dublin.
Opiate,-mainly heroin- and cannabis were the main problem drug reported by new cases in greater Dublin, the midlands and the north east; while in the south, south east and west, cannabis and ecstasy were the most common.
The study showed that 50% of drug users started injecting heroin before they were 19 years old.
Among other findings in the HRB report were that young teenagers initiate drug use with cannabis and volatile inhalants and that use of opiates, amphetamines and ecstasy commences in the mid-to late teens among users.
This is a very dehumanizing article...the authors should show more passion and a more human side of this, IMO.
-------------------- "What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"
"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer
Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.
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