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10th Jul 2024

New survey to discover drug trends in Ireland

Kat O'Connor

The aim of the survey is to understand how and why people are using drugs

An anonymous survey has been launched to understand what drugs people aged 18 and over are using in Ireland.

The HSE, Health Research Board (HRB) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) have launched the European Web Survey on Drugs to understand drug trends.

The anonymous survey aims to engage with people aged 18 and over and asks about the types of drugs they use, why and how they use them.

The responses will provide valuable insight into drug trends and the diverse groups of people who now use drugs in Ireland, including the use of newer drugs to the market such as HHC.

36 countries will be taking part in the 2024 survey.

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

Speaking about the initiative, Brian Galvin, The Health Research Board said:

“This initiative aims to gather current information on the most recent drug trends nationally. Focusing on aspects such as commonly used drugs, purchasing behaviours, and motivations for drug use, the survey offers a crucial snapshot of prevalence, trends, and attitudes among people who use drugs. 

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

According to HSE Nicki Killeen of the HSE National Social Inclusion Office, this is an extremely important time to conduct research on drug use in Ireland.

“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.”

In the last survey in 2021, almost 6,000 respondents, shared their experiences with a range of drugs, including on re-emerging trends at that point in time such as nitrous oxide and psychedelic mushrooms. 

You can take part here.

For information and support relating to your own or someone else’s drug use, go to or Freephone the HSE Helpline on 1800 459 459 Monday – Friday 9:30 – 5:30 or email [email protected].

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