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  • Drug-related deaths and deaths among drug users in Ireland

    Posted on February 6th, 2013 TimB No comments

    The Irish National Drug-Related Deaths Index (NDRDI) is an epidemiological database which records cases of death by drug and alcohol poisoning, and deaths among drug users and those who are alcohol dependent. The  NDRDI is maintained by the Health Research Board (HRB). It is jointly funded by the Department of Health and  the Department of Justice and Equality.

    Alcohol consumption has been reported as the third most detrimental risk factor for ill health and premature death in Europe. Official figures show 2010 recorded the first major drop in drug deaths following a rise in fatalities between 2004 and 2009.

    Dr Suzi Lyons of the Health Research Board said falls in heroin and cocaine deaths were the “main drivers” in the overall reduction in poisonings.

    “The overall trend across Europe is one of reductions in drug deaths. Between 2004 and 2009, we’ve seen numbers of deaths increasing. This is the first major decrease.” She said the figures for 2011 would show if this was a trend or whether 2010 was a one-off. She said a heroin drought in late 2010 could have led to a misleading drop in heroin deaths. She said there had been a “significant drop” in cocaine deaths in recent years, from a high of 66 in 2007 to 20.

    Dr Lyons said alcohol was the country’s biggest problem drug and the one most commonly treated. She said the number of deaths remained “consistently high”.

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