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Kieran Goss

Out Of My Head

Over 170% Increase In The Number Of Young People Seeking Treatment For Cocaine Use

Stock image: Shutterstock

Cocaine use among young people in Ireland was the second highest in Europe.

There's been a 171% increase in the number of young people being treated for cocaine use in Ireland.

The latest HRB report also found substance related hospitalisations are on the rise among 15-24 year olds.

The data collected from the Health Research Board between 2011 and 2019, looked at alochol and drug use among adolescents.

Cannabis remains the most commonl drug, but ecstasy and cocaine use among young people in Ireland was the second highest in Europe.

Although drug-related problems are on the rise, it seems people are starting to drink alcohol at an older age.

In 2002 the average age people had their first drink was 15.6 years.

That has increased to 16.6 years in 2019.

One-in-three drinkers aged 15-24 years in Ireland has an alcohol use disorder and, despite a decrease in binge drinking, adolescents rank 7th out of 35 In Europe for reports of being drunk.

The number of young women consuming cocaine has quadrupled in recent years too - from 0.8 per cent in 2015 to 4.5 per cent in 2020.

Substance abuse specialist, Dr Garrett McGovern, says he's seen an increase in people coming to him seeking help:


HRB Research Officer Anne Doyle says there is there is a clear link between criminality and substance use:

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