The report shows an increase in the number of problematic cocaine cases reported

Cocaine has overtaken heroin as a major problem drug in newly reported cases in Ireland, reports have found.

The latest figures from the Health Research Board (HRB) show that the number of people seeking treatment for problematic cocaine use continues to grow, trebling between 2015 and 2021. increase.

Numerical figures in the new HRB report National Drug Treatment Reporting System (NDTRS) 2015-2021 Pharmacotherapy data show that in 2021, a total of 10,769 cases were treated for problematic drug use.

Two-fifths of these cases were unfamiliar with treatment. One in three wanted cocaine treatment.

Opioids (including heroin and methadone) were the main problematic drugs, with cases seeking treatment, followed by cocaine, followed by cannabis and benzodiazepines.

Cocaine was the main problematic drug in new cases.

Mairead O’Driscoll, Chief Executive Officer of HRB, said:

“By providing timely data, HRB can provide important insights into drug treatment trends, support treatment approaches, and inform policies and practices related to addressing risk factors and prevention. . “

Dr. Suzi Lyons, Principal Researcher at HRB, said:

“In 2019, we found that cocaine overtaking cannabis was the main problem drug. This year, more cocaine was reported to seek treatment than heroin. It may mark a turning point in Irish addiction trends.

“Although the proportion of cases of cocaine taking multiple medications is declining, almost two-thirds mix cocaine with other medications.

“This is a concern because drug mixing can affect recovery and increase the risk of overdose.”

The report shows that the number of cases treated with cocaine as the main problem has tripled from 1,026 in 2015 to 3,248 in 2021.

Cocaine is the second most common drug reported in 2021 and accounts for almost one-third of all cases.

In 2021, for the first time, NDTRS recorded more cocaine (3,248) than heroin (3,168) among patients treated with medication as the main problem.

Cocaine was the most common main drug in the new cases of 2021.

An increasing proportion of women report cocaine as the main problem drug.

Until 2020, women accounted for 1 in 5 cases with cocaine as the main problem drug, but by 2021, it increased to 1 in 4 cases.

Dr. Lions added: “There have been some positive developments in risk behavior, with the proportion of patients who have been injected with drugs decreased from about one-third in 2015 to just over one-fifth in 2021.

“This reduction is even more pronounced in new cases, with only 4% of people reported receiving injections in 2021, compared to 15% in 2015.

“And while the number of cases reporting cannabis as a major issue has decreased overall, the number of cases reporting it as an additional issue has increased.”

X The report shows an increase in the number of problematic cocaine cases reported

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