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  • International Overdose Awareness 2015

    Posted on August 31st, 2015 TimB No comments

    These two videos are of interviews with individuals who have been affected by Drug Overdose . The interviews are on the theme of Rethink and Remember



  • Drug Treatment Figures increase in Ireland

    Posted on April 13th, 2015 TimB No comments

    A report in the Irish Examiner  highlights a nationwide surge in the abuse of benzodiazepines and cannabis — and the spread of heroin outside Dublin — has driven drug treatment figures upwards over the last five years.

    The Government has been accused of adopting a “head in the sand” approach to the problem and criticised for a continuing delay in introducing laws controlling the supply and possession of legal tranquillisers.

    Garda sources said that organised crime gangs have moved in to control the supply of the lucrative trade in benzodiazepines (tranquillisers) and so-called z-drugs (hypnotics), while health researchers report that a third of all overdoses involve benzodiazepines.

    Official statistics show a rise of almost 25% in the total number of people treated for illegal drug use between 2009 and 2013, increasing from 6,668 to 8,259.

    Figures gathered by the Health Research Board for the main drug of abuse-level users show that the biggest increases are for benzodiazepines (up 175%, from 261 in 2009 to 719 in 2013), and cannabis (up 61%, from 1,531 to 2,460).

    Opiates — in most cases heroin — rose by 4% from 4,013 to 4,189, but this reflected a fall in Dublin (from 2,360 to 2,100) and a 26% rise outside Dublin (from 1,653 to 2,089).

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Best Practice for Overdose Prevention on the release from Prison

    Posted on October 10th, 2014 TimB No comments

    This ‘Fact Sheet’ reports on good practice models in four European Union (EU) countries – Scotland, Denmark, Italy and Spain (more specifically, the Catalonia region) – on overdose prevention and management programmes upon release from prison. The main findings are concluded with recommendations made regarding their relevance to the five target countries of the project: Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.

    Information gathered includes programme descriptions; evidence of effectiveness; functioning; and involvement of people who use drugs. The methodology for collection and documentation of good practices is based on reports and guidance from leading organizations in the field such as the World Health Organization, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
    (EMCDDA) etc. This fact sheet is of particular relevance to prison staff, health care professionals and people who use drugs.


  • Study on the prevalence of drug use, including intravenous drug use, and blood-borne viruses among the Irish prisoner population

    Posted on April 10th, 2014 TimB No comments

    Accurate up-to-date data on the extent of drug use and the prevalence of blood-borne viruses among the prisoner population are a necessary pre-requisite for health and social service planning and policy development. The most recent national study assessing the prevalence of blood-borne viruses, along with self-reported drug use within Irish prisons (Allwright et al., 1999), was carried out over a decade ago.

    This study was commissioned by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD)* in 2010 with the following objectives: to describe the nature, extent and pattern of consumption for different drugs among the prisoner population; to describe methods of drug use, including intravenous drug use, among the prisoner population; to estimate the prevalence of blood-borne viruses among the prisoner population and to identify associated risk behaviours; and to measure the uptake of individual drug treatment and harm reduction interventions (including hepatitis B vaccination) in prison.

    This study confirms that drug use, including injecting drug use, is a significant problem among prisoners in Ireland and suggests that drug-related factors are important in the acquisition of blood-borne viruses. The findings also show that prisoners who need services, such as the range of addiction services and detoxification, are very willing to use them when they are available. ‘In-prison’ uptake of testing and vaccination services confirms that prisons are appropriate settings for the provision of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for drug users. It is hoped that the evidence provided in this study will facilitate service and policy development in this important area.



  • EMCDDA Regional drug strategies across the world

    Posted on March 25th, 2014 TimB No comments

    This paper offers a comparison of the drug strategies and plans adopted over the last five years by six intergovernmental organisations engaging 148 countries in four continents. It informs decision-makers, professionals and researchers working in the area of international drug policy about the way in which countries of the same region have decided to strategically approach drug-related security, social and health problems.



  • The National Drug-related Deaths Database (Scotland) Report 2011

    Posted on May 1st, 2013 TimB No comments

    In 2011, there were 438 cases identified as eligible for inclusion in the NDRDD cohort (an increase from 365 in 2010).

    1. Over three quarters (78.3%) were males, over half (53.4%) had lived in the most deprived areas in Scotland and the 35-44 years age group accounted for the highest proportion of deaths (38.1%)
    2. Over two fifths (44.5%) of the cohort, where known, were a parent or parental figure. A total of 331 children lost a parent or parental figure to a drug-related death.
    3. Where known, nearly two thirds (63%) had a history of intravenous (IV) drug use, which is a lower proportion than in 2010 (70.8%). Over three quarters (77.4%) of the 2011 cohort had a medical condition recorded in the 6 months prior to death. IV drug users had a higher prevalence of medical conditions compared to those who were not known to have been an IV drug user.
    4. The prevalence of Hepatitis C amongst the drug-related deaths cohort has steadily increased over the period 2009-2011.
    5. Where known, almost two thirds of individuals (64.5%) had been in contact with a drug treatment service at some point in their lives.
    6. Where known, in the 6 months prior to death, one third (34.3%) had been released from police custody and almost one fifth (18.1%) had been released from prison.
    7. This year’s report includes data on drugs ‘present’ in the body and drugs ‘implicated’ in the death. The presence of a drug in toxicology of the deceased individual does not necessarily mean that the drug was implicated in (contributed to) the death.
    8. The drug most frequently found to be present in the body at death was diazepam (81.4%) followed by methadone (57.3%), heroin/morphine (51.5%), anti-depressants (37.1%) and alcohol (37.1%). In 97% of cases there was more than one drug present. Opioids (methadone, heroin, morphine or buprenorphine) were present in 87.2% of cases.
    9. The drug most frequently implicated in the death was methadone (53.4%), followed by heroin/morphine (38.6%), diazepam (23.1%) and alcohol (21.2%). More than one drug was implicated in the death in the majority of cases (68.9%).
    10. In relation to drugs present, the proportion of deaths with heroin/morphine and alcohol has decreased over the period 2009-2011, while the proportion of deaths with methadone, diazepam and anti-depressants has increased over this period.
    11. In 2011, the majority of individuals (150, 60.7%) with methadone found in their toxicology were not in receipt of a methadone prescription at the time of death.
    12. Where toxicology information was known, a higher proportion of females (72.3%) had methadone present compared with males (53.1%). This pattern is similar to 2010, (56.6% and 41.8% for females and males respectively), although the gap between females and males has grown in 2011.
    13. Where known, almost three quarters (73.8%) of individuals in the 2011 NDRDD cohort were not currently in receipt of a prescribed substitute drug.

    Download Report

  • EU drug markets report: a strategic analysis

    Posted on February 1st, 2013 TimB No comments

    The EU drug markets report is the first comprehensive overview of illicit drug markets in the European Union. It covers issues such as production, consumer markets, trafficking, organised crime and policy responses, along with a review of the markets for heroin, cocaine, cannabis, amphetamine, methamphetamine, ecstasy and new psychoactive substances. It concludes with concrete action points for the areas where the current EU response to the drug market and its consequent harms may be improved.

    An essential reference tool for law enforcement professionals, policymakers, the academic community and the general public, the report combines Europol’s strategic and operational understanding of trends and developments in organised crime with the EMCDDA’s ongoing monitoring and analysis of the drug phenomenon in Europe and beyond.



  • Youth attitudes on drugs Analytical report

    Posted on July 12th, 2011 TimB No comments

    The current Flash Eurobarometer on “Youth attitudes on drugs” requested by Directorate General Justice, builds on these earlier surveys in order to measure the trend in attitudes of this target group towards drugs. In response to recent developments in the EU drug market, in the current survey, young people were also asked about their experiences with and attitudes towards new substances that imitate the effects of illicit drugs, so-called new psychoactive substances or “legal highs”.

    This survey’s objective was to study young EU citizens’ attitudes to – and perceptions about – drugs and related issues


  • Does Portugal have the solution to Irelands drug epidemic?

    Posted on June 13th, 2011 TimB No comments

    In 2001, the world’s media descended on one of Lisbon‘s poorer districts. Portugal had become the first country in the EU to decriminalise drug use and the coverage painted a bleak picture of the continent’s “most shameful neighbourhood” and “worst drugs ghetto” where addicts openly injected heroin.

    This “ultra-liberal legislation”, it was feared, would lead to drug tourists descending on Portugal. The leader of the country’s People’s Party, Paulo Portas, said plane-loads of foreign students would head for the Algarve for “sun, beaches and any drug you like”.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • 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.


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