Dublin’s North East Inner City: Creating a Brighter Future

Dublin’s North East Inner City: Creating a Brighter Future

The Kieran Mulvey Report, February 2017


Last night – Thursday, 16th February, 2017 – the government task force to north east inner city launched the Kieran Mulvey report. H.O.P.E., along with many other community stakeholders, were present in anticipation of the final report. The communities of the north east inner city have suffered severe social inequalities for many years. With that in mind, this project welcomes the report and it’s suggestions.

After meeting with community groups, individuals, organisations over the last few months and taking some 50 organisational/individual submissions, Kieran Mulvey used the issues put forward to inform the report. And from these submissions, an action plan has been formulated. But what does the action plan have in store for the north east inner city?

The action plan outlines four key areas for priority action

  • Tackling crime and drugs; Better and more visible policing with an emphasis on community policing needs to be key feature in the Plan. It must be “safe” to lead; it must be “safe” to live, work, learn and play in the community.
  • Maximising educational/training opportunities/ creating local employment opportunities; There needs to be significant enhancement of the linkages between education and employment opportunity for this current generation of school goers, young adults and the unemployed in local businesses and enterprises, particularly in the business / retail area of the inner city and in the Docklands Development – both in construction and business occupation stages.
  • Creating an integrated system of social services; Social, educational and training services to address the real problems faced by families and their children need to be planned and delivered in a far more coordinated fashion. Services should be co-ordinated under a single plan which is in response to the particular needs and circumstances of different communities within the area.
  • Improving physical landscape; The area has some of the broadest streets in the City with potential for refurbishment and revitalisation. Future regeneration needs to explore the potential within the area to renovate, make it liveable and bright with improved physical landscape; to eliminate waste, derelict sites and progress the refurbishment and replacement of the existing flat complexes.

The Examiner, on Thursday, February 16, 2017 – 06:46 pm, highlights

  • Government accepts recommendations of the Mulvey Report for regeneration of the North East Inner City.
  • Ring-fenced funding of €5m will support implementation of the report.
  • Policing resources in the area to increase by 30 additional Gardaí by end 2017.
  • Rutland Street School to remain in state ownership and to be developed as a community hub.
  • Design, planning and procurement relating to the re-opening of Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station to begin.
  • Government to move quickly to put in place Implementation Structures recommended with strong Community Engagement and Government Oversight.

The full report can be read below.
 


“Kieran Mulvey’s NEIC Report Launch”

From NEIC Report Launch. Posted by HOPE Hands On Peer Education on 2/17/2017 (10 items)

Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2



HRB Factsheet January 2017 – Alcohol: the Irish situation

Factsheet- Alcohol: the Irish situation

January 2017


What does alcohol do?

Alcohol is a psychoactive substance with dependence-producing properties. Consumption of alcohol and problems related to alcohol vary widely around the world, but the burden of disease and death remains significant in most countries. The harmful use of alcohol ranks among the top five risk factors for disease, disability and death throughout the world. Drinking alcohol is associated with a risk of developing such health problems as alcohol dependence, liver cirrhosis, cancers and injuries.

What is a standard drink in Ireland?

The standard drink in Ireland is 10 grams of pure alcohol.
Below are some examples of a standard drink.

  • A pub measure of spirits (35.5ml)
  • A half pint of normal beer
  • An alcopop (275ml bottle)
  • A small glass of wine (12.5% volume)

A bottle of wine at 12.5% alcohol contains about seven standard drinks.

What are the low-risk drinking guidelines in Ireland?

Low risk weekly guidelines for adults are:

  • up to 11 standard drinks in a week for women, and
  • up to 17 standard drinks in a week for men.

See more at Health Service Executive.

How dow we know how many people use alcohol in Ireland?

Every four years the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol (NACDA) and the Northern Ireland Public Health Information and Research Branch (PHIRB) commission a survey of the general population to estimate the number of people in Ireland who use drugs and alcohol.2 Face-to-face interviews take place with respondents aged 15+a normally resident in households in Ireland and Northern Ireland. This type of survey is not designed to include people who do not normally live in private households (such as prisoners or hostel dwellers).

How much alcohol do Irish people consume?

The 2014/15 survey involved 9,505 people (7,005 in Ireland and 2,500 in Northern Ireland). The latest survey estimates show a decrease in the lifetime, last year and last month prevalence of alcohol use in the general population:

Table 1: Lifetime, last year and last month prevalence of alcohol use in the general population

The results for Ireland showed that:

  • 62.1% of Irish adults have consumed alcohol in the past month, with past year and lifetime usage at 77% and 82.8% respectively.
  • Lifetime (89.2%) and past year (83.3%) usage of alcohol is highest amongst those aged 35 to 44.
  • Last year use of alcohol is highest amongst males aged 25-34 years (86.4%) and females aged 35-44 years (81.7%).
  • Males across all age groups report higher last month usage of alcohol when compared to females within the same age range.

How much alcohol do Irish 15-16 year old students consume?

The European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) has conducted surveys of school-going children every four years since 1995, using a standardised method and a common questionnaire (see www.espad.org ) including questions on alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use. The sixth survey was conducted in 36 European countries during 2014/15.3 1,400 Irish students took part in this latest survey.
Of these

  • 74% of students have tried alcohol, with more girls (75%) than boys (72%) having done so.
  • Beer was by far the most popular drink, with 29% of students having had it in the last 30 days.
  • 28% of students had engaged in binge-drinking in the past month.
  • More girls than boys drink for mood lifting reasons, and drinking to fit in was the least popular reason reported among boys and girls.
  • Boys (7.8%, n=35) were more likely to engage in drunk driving than girls (1.1%, n=5).
  • Far more students with F grades were current drinkers (60%) than those with A grades (21%).
  • 11% of students who had no friends who used alcohol were current drinkers, compared with 69% of students who said that all their friends drink.

Table 1: Alcohol use in the last 30 days since 2003 among 15-16-year-olds in Ireland

Health-related harms

In Ireland, the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry (HIPE) scheme collects data on discharges (including deaths) from acute Irish hospitals.

All alcohol-related discharges, either wholly attributable (alcohol is a necessary cause for these conditions to manifest) or partially attributable (alcohol must be a component cause), were analysed. The number of people discharged from hospital whose condition was wholly attributable to alcohol rose by 82% between 1995 and 2013, from 9,420 to 17,120. Males accounted for 72% of these discharges and females 28%.

There has also been a steady increase in the average length of stay for hospital discharges associated with alcohol, from 6.0 days in 1995 to 10. days in 2013, which suggests that patients with alcohol-related diagnoses are becoming more complex in terms of their illness. Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) was the most common chronic alcohol disease, accounting for approximately four-fifths of all alcohol-related chronic diseases in 2013. The rate of discharges with ALD increased from 28.3 per 100,000 adults aged 15 years and over in 1995 to 87.7 in 2013, an increase of 210%.

Analysis of data from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland found that between 2001 and 2010, of the 24,995 cases of breast cancer, 3,058 (12.2%) were attributable to alcohol. Of the 6,601 women who died of breast cancer, 695 (10.5%) cases were attributable to alcohol.

The National Registry of Deliberate Self-Harm is a national system of population monitoring for the occurrence of deliberate self-harm, established by the National Suicide Research Foundation. In 2015, Alcohol was involved in just over one third of all cases (31%), a slight decrease from 2014.. Alcohol was more involved in male episodes of self-harm than female episodes (34% versus 29%, respectively).

How many people receive treatment for alcohol us?

The National Drug Treatment Reporting System (NDTRS) provides data on treated drug and alcohol misuse in Ireland. The National Psychiatric Inpatient Reporting System (NPIRS) provides detailed information on all admissions and discharges to inpatient psychiatric services in Ireland.

The most recent published data from the NDTRS shows that the number of cases entering treatment who reported alcohol as their main problem drug decreased from 8,604 in 2009 to 7,541 in 2014 (-12%).
Of the 7,451 cases in 2014 who reported alcohol as their main problem drug:

  • 163 (2%) were aged under 18 years; 2,467 (33%) were aged 18–34; 2,035 (27%) were aged 35–44; and 2,542 (33%) were aged 45–64 and 237 were aged over 65 (3.2%).
  • 3,674 (48%) were new cases.
  • 1,688 (22%) lived in Dublin.
  • 4,757 (63%) were men.
  • 1,395 (18%) used alcohol with other drugs.

There has been a considerable decrease in the numbers admitted to psychiatric hospitals for alcohol treatment. The total number of people admitted to psychiatric hospitals with an alcoholic diagnosis decreased by 46.9% between 2006 and 2015, i.e. from 2,767 to 1,188.

How many people die from using alcohol?

The National Drug-Related Deaths Index (NDRDI) is a database which records cases of death by drug and alcohol poisoning, deaths among drug users and those who are alcohol dependent.
Alcohol was involved in 115 deaths (32% of all poisonings) in 2014, more than any other substance. 59% of deaths where alcohol was implicated involved other drugs (poly-drug poisonings), mainly opiates. Alcohol alone was responsible for 13% of all poisoning deaths. The number of deaths involving alcohol has decreased from 140 in 2013 to 115 in 2014.

What impact has alcohol on the Irish economy?

According to the report Overview of alcohol consumption, alcohol-related harm and alcohol policy in Ireland:

  • In 2013, alcohol-related discharges accounted for 160,211 bed days in public hospitals; that is 3.6% of all bed days that year; compared to 56,264 bed days or 1.7% of the total number of bed days in 1995.
  • €1.5 billion was the cost for alcohol-related discharges from hospital. That is equal to €1 for every €10 spent on public health in 2012. This excludes the cost of emergency cases, GP visits, psychiatric admissions and alcohol treatment services.
  • An estimated 5,315 people on the Live Register in November 2013 had lost their job due to alcohol use.
  • The estimated cost of alcohol-related absenteeism was €41,290,805 in 2013.

What does the law say about alcohol?

The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015 aims to reduce alcohol consumption in Ireland to 9.1 litres per person per annum by 2020 and to reduce the harms associated with alcohol. The Bill consists of 29 sections and includes five main provisions. These are: minimum unit pricing; health labelling of alcohol products; the regulation of advertising and sponsorship of alcohol products; structural separation of alcohol products in mixed trading outlets; and the regulation of the sale and supply of alcohol in certain circumstances.

See more at Alcohol Action Ireland Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015: Main Measures.

Intoxicating Liquor Acts

  • It is an offence to sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 18.
  • It is an offence to buy alcohol for people under the age of 18.
  • It is also an offence to give alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 unless in a domestic home and they have parental consent.

See more at Citizens Information

For more information on alcohol please refer to the following sources:

  1. World Health Organization. (2014) Global status report on alcohol and health 2014. World Health Organization, Geneva.
  2. National Advisory Committee on Drugs & Public Health Information and Research Branch (2016) Prevalence of drug use and gambling in Ireland & drug use in Northern Ireland. Bulletin 1. Dublin: National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol.
  3. Taylor, Keishia and Babineau, Kate and Keogan, Sheila and Whelan, Ellen and Clancy, Luke (2016) ESPAD 2015: European Schools Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs in Ireland. Dublin: Department of Health.
  4. Mongan, Deirdre and Long, Jean (2016) Overview of alcohol consumption, alcohol-related harm and alcohol policy in Ireland. Dublin: Health Research Board.
  5. Griffin, Eve and Arensman, Ella and Corcoran, Paul and Dillon, Christina B and Williamson, Eileen and Perry, Ivan J (2016) National Self-Harm Registry Ireland annual report 2015. Cork: National Suicide Research Foundation.
  6. Health Research Board. (2015) Treated problem alcohol use in Ireland: figures for 2013 from the National Drug Treatment Reporting System. Health Research Board, Dublin.
  7. Treatment data HRB National Drugs Library interactive tables.
  8. Mental Health statistics HRB National Psychiatric In-patient Reporting System database.
  9. Health Research Board (2016) National Drug-Related Deaths Index 2004 to 2014 data. Health Research Board, Dublin.

Further resources:

Gavin, Aoife and Keane, Eimear and Callaghan, Mary and Molcho, Michal and Kelly, Colette and Nic Gabhainn, Saoirse (2015) The Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study 2014. Department of Health and National University of Ireland, Galway, Dublin

Gell, Lucy and Ally, Abdallah and Buykx, Penny and Hope, Ann (2015) Alcohol’s harm to others. Institute of Alcohol Studies.

Hope, Ann (2015) Research evidence to prevent alcohol-related harm: what communities can do in Ireland. Galway Healthy Cities: Galway City Alcohol Strategy to Prevent and Reduce Alcohol-Related Harm (2013-2017), Galway.

Useful websites:

How to cite this factsheet:

HRB National Drugs Library (2017) Alcohol: the Irish situation. HRB National Drugs Library, Dublin www.drugsandalcohol.ie/24954

************

Other Factsheets in this series:

Cocaine: the Irish situation
Opiates: the Irish situation
Sedatives and tranquillisers: the Irish situation
Cannabis: the Irish situation

HRB National Drugs Library – Find the evidence

www.drugsandalcohol.ie

  • Quick updates – newsletter & Drugnet Ireland
  • Summaries – Factsheets & Annual national reports
  • Policy – Policy page & Dail debates
  • International research on interventions – Evidence resources
  • Publications of key organisations – HRB, NACDA & EMCDDA
  • Explanations of terms and acronyms – Glossary
  • Treatment data – Drug data link (or HRB publications)
  • Alcohol diary data
  • Search our collection – basic and advanced (you can save your results)

HRB National Drugs Library

Health Research Board
Grattan House
67-72 Lower Mount Street
Dublin 2, Ireland
t +353 1 2345 175
e [email protected]
w www.drugsandalcohol.ie

 

 

 

 

HRB Factsheet January 2017 – Opiates: the Irish situation

Opiates: the Irish situation

January 2017


In common usage, the term ‘opiate’ tends to be understood as referring to all opiate/opioid drugs. To keep things simple, this Factsheet uses the term ‘opiate’ in this way.


What are opiates?

Opiates are derived from the dried milk of the opium poppy. Synthetic opiates are called opioids. Heroin is the most commonly used opioid. Methadone, which is used as a substitute drug in the treatment of heroin addiction, is also an opioid.

What do opiates do?

Opiates are sedative drugs that depress the nervous system. They induce feelings of relaxation and detachment in the user. The more often the drug is used the greater the quantity needed to produce the desired effect. Physical dependence often results from regular use and withdrawal can be very unpleasant. Opiates can be smoked, snorted or prepared for injection. Overdosing on an opiate can be fatal.

How do we know how many people use opiates in Ireland?

Surveys of random samples of the population can be used to estimate the total number of people who use specific drugs. However, opiate users are under-represented in population-based surveys, which are not designed to include people who do not normally live in private households (such as the homeless, hostel dwellers or prisoners).

Researchers in Ireland use a number of sources of information to estimate the number of opiate users in the population. These include:

  • The Central Treatment List (CTL), which is a register of the number of people who are receiving methadone or another opioid as a substitute drug treatment.
  • The Hospital In-Patient Enquiry (HIPE) scheme, which records details of people discharged from hospital, including their diagnosis.
  • The Garda information systems, which record details of drug-related crime.

How many people use opiates in Ireland?

There have been attempts in recent years to estimate the number of problem opiate users in Ireland using these overlapping sources. The first study estimated that 14,158 people were using heroin in 2001, a rate of 5.6 per 1,000 of the population. In 2006 the estimate was 20,790, a rate of 7.2 per 1,000. There are about 1.3 million opiate users in Europe.

How many people receive treatment for opiate use?

As of 31st August 2016 there were 9,652 patients receiving treatment for opiate use (excluding prisons).

The National Drug Treatment Reporting System (NDTRS) provides data on treated drug and alcohol misuse in Ireland.a A total of 16,587 cases entered treatment for problem drug or alcohol use in 2014, of whom 4,477 reported an opiate as their main problem drug. Of the 4,477 cases who reported an opiate as their main problem drug:

  • 943 were new cases.
  • 2,148 were resident in Dublin.
  • 2,955 were men.
  • 5 were under 18 years; 2,618 were aged 18–34.
  • 2,676 used opiates with other drugs.
  • 2,079 used an opiate daily, 640 used it between two and six days per week, 294 used it once per week or less, and 1,163 had not used it in the last month.ha
  • 1,737 injected, 2,059 smoked, 487 ate/drank and 5 sniffed/snorted opiates.

How many people die from using opiates?

The National Drug-Related Deaths Index (NDRDI) is a database which records cases of death by drug and alcohol poisoning, and deaths among drug users and those who are alcohol dependent. 354 people died from poisoning in 2014. Opiates were the main drug group implicated in poisoning deaths in Ireland in 2014. Methadone was implicated in more than a quarter of poisonings (98, 28%). The number of deaths where heroin was implicated increased to 90 in 2014 compared to 86 in 2013. This is the second year in succession that a rise in heroin deaths is reported.

One quarter (25%) of all poisoning deaths involved heroin. Of those who died where heroin was implicated:

  • 87% were male
  • 81% involved more than one drug
  • 48% were injecting at the time of the incident that led to their death
  • 46% lived outside Dublin (city and county)
  • 42% were not alone at the time of the incident that led to their death
  • 29% were homeless
  • 18% were recorded as being in addiction treatment at the time of their death.

Non-fatal overdoses and drug-related emergencies

According to the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry (HIPE) scheme, 4,233 cases of non-fatal overdose were discharged from Irish hospitals in 2013. There were 14% (587) positive findings for narcotic or hallucinogenic drugs in relation to these cases, of which 80% (468) were for an opiate.

What does the law say about opiates?

Heroin and other opiates are on the list of controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Acts 1977 and 1984, and amending regulations. Under the legislation a person who has this controlled drug in their possession is guilty of an offence. You can find more information about Irish drug laws, offences and penalties on the Citizens Information Board website.

Seizure of opiates

Information on drugs and crime is published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and includes data on drug seizures made by Garda and Revenue Customs officers. The number of seizures of heroin rose from 690 in 2013 to 954 in 2014. There were 15 seizures of methadone in 2009, and 56 in
2014.

The Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) analyses drugs seized by the Garda. FSI prepare a quarterly report for the Garda and the data presented here are from the combined report for 2014. This tells us the number of cases involving drugs initiated by the Garda and gives a picture of the relative
frequency of the various types of illicit drugs seized. 954 cases were associated with seizures of diamorphine (heroin). There was a significant increase in the quantity of heroin seized; from just under 40 Kgs in 2014 to just under 62 Kgs in 2015 (just over 61 Kgs of heroin in 2013).

For more information on opiates please refer to the following sources:

  1. European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
  2. Kelly A, Teljeur C and Carvalho M (2009). Prevalence of opiate use in Ireland 2006: a 3-source capture-recapture study. Dublin: Stationery Office.
  3. European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (2014) European drug report 2014: trends and developments. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.
  4. Health Service Executive (2017) Health service performance report August/September 2016. Dublin: Health Service Executive.
  5. Treatment data HRB National Drugs Library interactive tables.
  6. Health Research Board (2016) National Drug-Related Deaths Index 2004 to 2014 data. Dublin: Health Research Board.
  7. Health Research Board Irish National Focal Point to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (2016) Ireland: national report for 2015 – harms and harm reduction.
  8. Irish National Focal Point to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2016) Ireland: national report for 2015 – drug markets and crime. Dublin: Health Research Board.
  9. An Garda Siochana (2016) An Garda Siochana: annual report 2015. An Garda Siochana, Dublin.

 

How to cite this factsheet:

HRB National Drugs Library (2017) Opiates: the Irish situation. HRB National Drugs Library, Dublin www.drugsandalcohol.ie/17313

************

Other Factsheets in this series:

Cocaine: the Irish situation
Alcohol: the Irish situation
Sedatives and tranquillisers: the Irish situation
Cannabis: the Irish situation

HRB National Drugs Library – Find the evidence

www.drugsandalcohol.ie

  • Quick updates – newsletter & Drugnet Ireland
  • Summaries – Factsheets & Annual national reports
  • Policy – Policy page & Dail debates
  • International research on interventions – Evidence resources
  • Publications of key organisations – HRB, NACDA & EMCDDA
  • Explanations of terms and acronyms – Glossary
  • Treatment data – Drug data link (or HRB publications)
  • Alcohol diary data
  • Search our collection – basic and advanced (you can save your results)

HRB National Drugs Library

Health Research Board
Grattan House
67-72 Lower Mount Street
Dublin 2, Ireland
t: +353 1 2345 175
e: [email protected]
w: www.drugsandalcohol.ie

 

HRB Factsheet January 2017 – Seditives and tranquilisers: the Irish situation

Sedatives and tranquillisers: the Irish situation

January 2017


What are sedatives and tranquillisers?

‘Sedatives’ and ‘tranquillisers’ are commonly used terms for a group of medicines which depress, slow down or calm the brain and central nervous system. Benzodiazepines (‘Benzos’) are the most common type of drug in this group, but other drugs with the same effects are also included.

What do sedatives and tranquillisers do?

Sedatives and tranquillisers can be used as hypnotic or anti-anxiety agents, depending on the dosage and on the time of day that they are taken. Hypnotics are used to treat insomnia (lack of adequate restful sleep) which is causing distress. Anti-anxiety drugs (anxiolytics), such as benzodiazepines, are used to obtain relief from severe and disabling anxiety.¹

How do we know how many people use sedatives or tranquillisers in Ireland?

Every four years the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol (NACDA) and the Northern Ireland Public Health Information and Research Branch (PHIRB) commission a survey of the general population to estimate the number of people in Ireland who use drugs and alcohol.² Face-to-face interviews take place with respondents aged 15+a normally resident in households in Ireland and Northern Ireland. This type of survey is not designed to include people who do not normally live in private households (such as prisoners or hostel dwellers).

How many people use sedatives or tranquillisers in Ireland?

The 2014/15 survey involved 9,505 people (7,005 in Ireland and 2,500 in Northern Ireland). The results for Ireland showed that:

  • 14.3% of the population had used sedatives or tranquillisers at least once.
  • Lifetime usage of sedatives or tranquillisers is higher amongst females than males across all age groups.
  • Use was higher among 65+ year-olds (21.4%) than all other age groups.

Use among young people

The European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) collects comparable data on substance use among 15–16-year-old students in 30 countries. According to the 2015 ESPAD report, 11% of Irish students (aged 15–16) reported that they had taken prescribed tranquillisers or sedatives at some point in their lives, and a further 2.8% had taken them without a prescription. Of 37 students who used non-prescribed tranquilisers or sedatives, 28 were aged 14 – 16 and 3 reported being 11 years old or younger. 20% of respondents said it was fairly easy or very easy to obtain sedatives or tranquilisers.

How many people receive treatment for sedative and tranquilliser use?

The National Drug Treatment Reporting System (NDTRS) provides data on treated drug and alcohol misuse in Ireland.b The most recent published data from the NDTRS4 shows that:
The number of cases entering treatment and reporting a benzodiazepine as their main problem drug increased from 78 in 2005 to 827 in 2014. Of the 827 cases who reported benzodiazepines as their main problem drug:

  • 347 (42%) were new cases.
  • 257 (31%) lived in Dublin.
  • 522 (63%) were men.
  • 50 (6%) were aged under 18 years; 577 (70%) were aged 18–34; 129 (15%) were aged 35–44; and 45 (5%) were aged 45–64.
  • 589 (71%) used benzodiazepines with other drugs.
  • 399 (48%) used benzodiazepines daily, 177 (21%) used it between two and six times per week, 57 (6%) used it once per week or less, and 150 (18%) had not used it in the last month.

How many people die from misuse of sedatives and tranquillisers?

The National Drug-Related Deaths Index (NDRDI) is a database of cases of death by drug and alcohol poisoning and deaths among drug users and people who are alcohol dependent. Two thirds of poisoning deaths involved poly-drug use, with an average of four different drugs
involved. Benzodiazepines were the most common drug group involved in deaths involving more than one drug (poly-drug). Diazepam (a benzodiazepine) was the most common single prescription drug, implicated in one-third (32%) of all poisoning deaths. Zopiclone-related deaths (a nonbenzodiazepine sedative drug) increased by 41% between 2013 and 2014.

Non-fatal overdoses and drug-related emergencies

According to the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry Scheme (HIPE), there were 4,233 cases of non-fatal overdose discharged from Irish hospitals in 2013. There was evidence of benzodiazepines in 19% (818) of cases of overdose.

What does the law say about sedatives and tranquillisers?

Under the Medicinal Products (Prescription and Control of Supply) Regulations 2003–2008, a prescription medication can only be supplied in accordance with a prescription, and the supply must be made from a registered pharmacy by or under the personal supervision of a registered pharmacist. It is illegal for prescription medicines to be supplied through mail-order or internet sites. A person who has in his possession a prescription medicine containing a substance controlled under the misuse of drugs legislation for the purpose of selling or otherwise supplying it is guilty of an offence under that legislation.

Changes to regulations under the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill will introduce stricter controls on benzodiazepines and an initiative to tackle overprescribing. You can find more information about Irish drug laws, offences and penalties on the Citizens Information Board website.

Seizures of sedatives and tranquillisers

The Garda send drugs seized to the laboratory of Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) for analysis. Seizures of a selection of benzodiazepines and Z-hypnotics analysed by FSI in 2014 included 201 seizures of Alprazolam, 420 seizures of Diazepam and 125 seizures of Zopiclone. According to the
2015 Garda annual report 749 grams of benzodiazepines were seized with a value of nearly one million euro.

For more information on sedatives and tranquillisers please refer to the following sources:

  1. National Advisory Committee on Drugs & Public Health Information and Research Branch (2012)
    Drug use in Ireland and Northern Ireland. 2010/11 drug prevalence survey: sedatives or tranquillisers and anti-depressants results. Bulletin 6. Dublin: National Advisory Committee on Drugs. [See glossary]
  2. National Advisory Committee on Drugs & Public Health Information and Research Branch (2016) Prevalence of drug use and gambling in Ireland & drug use in Northern Ireland. Bulletin 1. Dublin: National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol.
  3. Taylor, Keishia and Babineau, Kate and Keogan, Sheila and Whelan, Ellen and Clancy, Luke (2016) ESPAD 2015: European Schools Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs in Ireland. Dublin: Department of Health.
  4. Treatment data HRB National Drugs Library interactive tables.
  5. Health Research Board (2016) National Drug-Related Deaths Index 2004 to 2014 data. Dublin: Health
    Research Board.
  6. Health Research Board. Irish National Focal Point to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2016) Ireland: national report for 2015 – harms and harm reduction. Dublin: Health Research Board.
  7. Health Research Board. Irish National Focal Point to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2016) Ireland: national report for 2015 – drug markets and crime. Dublin: Health Research Board.
  8. An Garda Siochana. (2016) An Garda Siochana: annual report 2015. An Garda Siochana, Dublin.

See also: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2015) Perspectives on drugs: the misuse of benzodiazepines among high-risk opioid users in Europe. Lisbon: EMCDDA

How to cite this factsheet:

HRB National Drugs Library (2017) Sedatives and tranquilisers: the Irish situation. HRB National Drugs Library, Dublin www.drugsandalcohol.ie/24954

************

Other Factsheets in this series:

Cocaine: the Irish situation

Opiates: the Irish situation

Sedatives and tranquillisers: the Irish situation

Cannabis: the Irish situation

Alcohol: the Irish situation

HRB National Drugs Library – find the evidence

www.drugsandalcohol.ie

  • Quick updates – newsletter & Drugnet Ireland
  • Summaries – factsheets & Annual national reports
  • Policy – policy page & Dail debates
  • International research on interventions – Evidence resources
  • Publications of key organisations – HRB, NACDA, & EMCDDA
  • Explanations of terms and acronyms – glossary
  • Treatment of data – key Irish data link
  • Search our collection – basic and advanced (you can save your results)

HRB National Drugs Library
Health Research Board
Grattan House
67-72 Lower Mount Street
Dublin 2, Ireland
t: +353 1 2345 175
e: [email protected]
w: www.drugsandalcohol.ie