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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”.


  • Gardai say more certain to die from lethal cocktail of drink and drugs

    Posted on July 16th, 2012 TimB No comments

    An increasing  trend of mixing alcohol with drugs is having a potentially lethal effect on young revellers. When drugs such as ecstasy first hit the dance scene, users often chose to avoid alcohol altogether.

    But gardai are now warning that users are mixing cocaine, ecstasy, alcohol and other drugs, with dangerous consequences. The chances of a cardiac arrest are increased twenty fold if someone mixes cocaine and alcohol, according to experts.

    Mixing drugs — known as polydrug use — claimed the lives of two young men who died after last weekend’s Swedish House Mafia concert at Phoenix Park in Dublin, according to initial toxicology tests.

    Senior gardai have warned more deaths will almost certainly follow if users continue to consume either a mixture of drugs or combine one drug with alcohol.

    Studies by experienced officers have shown that most deaths arising from concerts and parties are a result of mixtures — usually a combination of cocaine and ecstasy with alcohol, or a variety of pills.

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  • Tackling alcohol misuse: Should abstinence be our preferred approach?’ British Liver Trust call for public health action on alcohol

    Posted on February 4th, 2012 TimB No comments
    The British Liver Trust is launching a new report today which argues that people with alcohol problems must be offered effective support and treatment to meet their individual needs, an ‘individual person-centred journey’ as the Government’s drug strategy would describe it. There has been much talk about ‘recovery’ and ‘abstinence-based approaches’ for those with alcohol dependence. Our report suggests that it is vital that people who misuse alcohol are not treated by a one-size fits all abstinence approach; but, to be as successful as possible, healthcare professionals must work with patients to understand their preferences in setting goals to reduce their alcohol harm. Problem drinkers are after all a mixed bag of people with a range of mild, moderate and severe alcohol dependence.

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  • New plans for all-Ireland minimum alcohol price

    Posted on January 27th, 2012 TimB No comments

    Health authorities have decided upon a cross-border strategy on a minimum price for alcohol.

    The proposals were outlined at the first formal North/South conference on alcohol misuse, held in Armagh on Thursday.Health Minister Edwin Poots was joined by the Irish Republic’s Health Minister Dr James Reilly and Minister of State for Health Roisin Shortall.

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  • Hidden Realities Children’s Exposure to Risks from Parental Drinking in Ireland.

    Posted on November 14th, 2011 TimB No comments

    This Family and Alcohol research study was developed by NWAF Ltd in partnership with existing structures within the NW Regional Drugs Task Force (NWRDTF) area. It will seek to inform the development, enhancement and targeting of family support mechanisms and programmes  for drugs and alcohol in the NW area and also nationally.


  • Overexposed and overlooked Young people’s views on the regulation of alcohol promotion

    Posted on October 30th, 2011 TimB No comments

    Most experts agree that children and young people under-18 should be protected from alcohol-promotion exposure, although how and to what extent is hotly contested. There is one group whose voice is absent from this debate; young people themselves.

    The Alcohol Concern Youth Policy project surveyed the views of over 2300 children and young people under-18 about if, how, and to what extent alcohol promotion should be regulated in England and Wales.


  • European action plan to reduce the harmful use of alcohol 2012–2020

    Posted on October 30th, 2011 TimB No comments

    Countries that take stronger action on alcohol  will reap considerable gains in terms of  better population health and well-being, enhanced employment and productivity, increased  health and social welfare savings, greater health and economic equality, and greater social  cohesion and inclusion.Alcohol is one of the world’s top three priority public health  areas. The evidence  available to support this statement is large, diverse and persuasive. Even though only half the  world’s population drinks alcohol, it is the  world’s third leading cause of ill health and  premature death, after low birth weight and unsafe sex (for which alcohol is a risk factor), and  greater than tobacco. Alcohol impacts on both noncommunicable and communicable diseases.


  • Drug use and nightlife: More than just dance music

    Posted on July 28th, 2011 TimB No comments

    Research over the last decade has focused almost exclusively on the association between electronic music and MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine or “ecstasy”) or other stimulant drug use in clubs. Less attention has been given to other nightlife venues and music preferences, such as rock music or southern/funky music.

    This study aims to examine a broader spectrum of nightlife, beyond dance music. It looks at whether certain factors influence the frequency of illegal drug and alcohol use: the frequency of going to certain nightlife venues in the previous month (such as, pubs, clubs or goa parties); listening to rock music, dance music or southern and funky music; or sampling venues (such as, clubs, dance events or rock festivals). The question of how these nightlife variables influence the use of popular drugs like alcohol, MDMA, cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines is addressed.


  • American 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

    Posted on May 12th, 2011 TimB No comments

    This report presents the first information from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and  Health (NSDUH), an annual survey sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health  Services Administration (SAMHSA). The survey is the primary source of information on the use  of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco in the civilian, non institutionalized population of the United  States aged 12 years old or older. The survey interviews approximately 67,500 persons each  year.


  • Student drinking on the rise despite economic hardships, survey reveals

    Posted on April 17th, 2011 TimB No comments

    A survey conducted by The University Observer has revealed that the number of University College Dublin students drinking excessive amounts of alcohol has risen since the recession.

    78 per cent of students surveyed said they suffered memory loss as a result of alcohol consummation on a night out, in comparison with the 67.9 per cent of students who answered positively to the same question asked by this newspaper as part of a similar survey in April 2009.

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