Alcohol, cannabis, heroin and cocaine most abused substances in the south east

HSE South has published its annual Overview of Drug Misuse report (2011), which covers counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford.

HSE South has published its annual Overview of Drug Misuse report (2011), which covers counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford.

The report gives a breakdown of alcohol and drug misuse based on data collected, collated and reported on from various statutory, voluntary and community agencies involved with substance misuse in the South East. Data is given for all clients who were treated in the South East as a whole, regional totals are given and further broken down by the clients’ county of residence.

In total, 3,736 individuals were assessed and/or treated in the South East during 2011. The number of individuals accessing the South East Services increased by 28% from 2010. This increase can be partly attributed to the increase in resources in late 2010, which resulted in a reduction in waiting times for services and created greater capacity of staff to support clients in 2011.

Overall, the main problem substances for which clients were treated in the South East in 2011 were alcohol 1,830 (61%), cannabis 498 (16%), heroin 461 (15%) and cocaine 81 (3%).

2,540 clients were discharged from treatment in 2011. As with previous years, the majority of clients had successfully completed their treatment before being discharged from the Services. In 2011, this accounted for 1,044 individuals (41%) of all clients treated in South East.

This was followed by clients who declined to have further sessions or did not return for subsequent appointments, which amounted to 764 individuals (30%) of all clients treated in South East.

349 (14%) of clients left treatment because they considered themselves to be stable.

Dr. Derval Howley, the HSE South’s Regional Co-ordinator for Social Inclusion and Substance Misuse said: “The substance misuse services in the South East have developed and expanded over the last few years. New services such as needle exchange/harm reduction for individuals who continue to inject have been developed. Liaison Nurses have been recruited to support both the methadone clinics as well as providing the option of community and residential detoxification and rehabilitation services. New residential detoxification beds have been purchased from voluntary providers. Additional addiction counsellors have joined the substance misuse teams to support increased access to counselling and therapeutic supports. Each county now provides a drop-in service once a week where no appointment is necessary. The HSE and voluntary funded services are working more closely together to ensure that people who need support for their own or a family member’s addiction are supported to access treatment.”