Opiates most commonly used drug in Ireland: report

Opiates, mainly heroin, are the most commonly used drug in Ireland, according to a report released here on Thursday.

The report released by the Health Research Board (HRB), a body under the Irish Ministry of Health, said that 42 percent of the 10,274 drug cases treated in the country in 2018 was related to opiates.

Cannabis was the second most common drug, accounting for 23 percent of the country’s total number of drug cases treated in 2018, followed by cocaine (22 percent) and Benzodiazepines (10 percent), said the report, adding that the remaining three percent was held by other drugs.

The report also found that the use of cocaine was on a rapid rise in Ireland.

A total of 2,254 cocaine treatment cases were reported in the country in 2018, up by 50 percent over the 2017 figure, said the report.

“The 50-percent increase in cocaine…highlights a changing pattern of drug use during the recent economic recovery,” said Dr. Darrin Morrissey, chief executive of the HRB.

“Drug treatment data is an important source of information because it is an indicator of the harms of drug use among the general population,” said Morrissey.

By providing timely data, the HRB can help increase awareness of risk and inform decision makers who can make appropriate responses to reduce harm and support recovery based on evidence, he said.