Research shows Ireland has the second highest rate of drug use in Europe

Ireland has the second highest rate of cocaine and ecstasy use among young people in Europe.

A new report from the Health Research Board shows almost 1 in 3 of 15-24 year old’s have used illegal drugs between the years 2019 and 2020, while 6.8% have used cocaine.

The number of young women consuming cocaine has quadrupled in recent years too – from 0.8% in 2015 to 4.5% in 2020.

Substance abuse specialist, Dr Garrett McGovern, says he’s seen an increase in people coming to him seeking help:

“Sometimes you’re not sure whether there’s an increase in actual use, or more of an increase in awareness about cocaine and its ill effects, and the fact that there are treatment options out there. I think there’s no doubt that over the last number of years, probably over the last five or six years, there has been a huge increase in cocaine, presenting for treatment and particularly in young people.”


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