Young Irish people rank second highest in Europe for cocaine use 5 months ago

Young Irish people rank second highest in Europe for cocaine use

Patients being treated for cocaine misuse increased by 171% between 2011 and 2019.

A new study has revealed that young people in Ireland have the second highest cocaine usage numbers in Europe.

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The figures were revealed in a report titled 'Alcohol and other drug use among children and young people in Ireland: prevalence, risk and protective factors, consequences, responses, and policies' from the Health Research Board.

Cocaine use in the last year among young people increased from 3.0% in 2014–15 to 4.4%, with a major increase in usage seen in young women.

Cocaine use in women aged 15-24 increased from 0.8% in 2014–15 to 4.5% in 2019–20.

The use of cocaine has steadily increased in young people since 2014, with the drug being the fourth most common implicated in drug poisoning deaths.

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Treatment for cocaine misuse increased by 171% between 2011 and 2019, with Hospital In-Patient Enquiry (HIPE) data showing an 89% increase in the number of cocaine-related hospitalisations among young people between 2015 and 2019 alone.

Cannabis remains the most popular illegal drug for young people, with 23% of survey respondents having reported lifetime cannabis use.

Cannabis users were six times more likely to report poor mental health than non-users of the drug.

Binge drinking remains a prevalent issue among young people, with one in three people aged between 15-24 having been diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder.

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Two-thirds of young people admitted to binge drinking, with Ireland having the third highest level of female heavy episodic drinking (more than six units in a single sitting) in the world, and the fourth highest in the world for males.

19% of men and 25% of women said they drank alcohol to cheer up, and 17% of men and 23% of women said they drank to forget about their problems.

322 people aged 15–24 years died as a result of drug and/or alcohol poisoning, accounting for 8.7% of the total 3,715 poisoning deaths among all age groups during that period.

You can read the report in full here.

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