More People Seek Help For Coca...

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More People Seek Help For Cocaine Use

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09:16 9 Jul 2020


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There's been a sharp rise in the number of people seeking help for cocaine use in recent years, according to the Health Research Board.

Its annual report shows cocaine has now overtaken cannabis as the second most common drug people enter treatment for.

Some 2,560 people sought help for problem cocaine use last year – three times more than the 708 who did so in 2013.

The drug has increased from 8% of cases in 2013 to 24% of cases last year.

While opioid use has dropped from 51% of cases treated in 2013 to 39% of treated cases in 2019.

HRB researcher Dr Anne-Marie Carew said there has been a "worrying rise" in crack cocaine use on recent years.

“This is something that is of concern because it does indicate a level of chronic problem drug use,” she said.

“These cases are more likely to unemployed and to be homeless so it is important that this distinction is noted – between the more socially integrated cocaine users and those who more marginalised.

“The type of supports they might need may in fact be different.”

The National Drug Treatment Reporting System has shown an overall increase of 1,658 or 18% in the number of treated cases recorded between 2013 and 2019.

Between 2018 and 2019 there was an increase of 3.8% or 390 cases in the number of cases presenting for treatment.

Anyone affected by issues raised in this article can contact the HSE’s Drug and Alcohol Helpline on 1800-459-459


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