Growing numbers admit
THE number of people aged 15-64 in Ireland reporting that they used illicit drugs in their lifetime, has risen from two in ten in 2002/03 to three in ten in 2014/15.
Cannabis remains the most commonly used illicit drug, followed by cocaine. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction said cannabis remains the most widely used illicit drug in Europe.
It is estimated that around 14pc of young Europeans aged 15–34 years used cannabis for over a year.
In Ireland the 2014/15 general population survey reported that 14pc of young adults aged 15-34 years used cannabis in the year prior to the survey, similar to Europe.
This is the same prevalence as the European average for this age group and below that of Spain (17pc), France (21pc) and the Netherlands (16pc), but slightly above that of the UK (12pc).
Cannabis is responsible for 41pc of new cases presenting for treatment, with numbers rising from 1,338 in 2010 to 1,452 in 2016.
Between 2007 and 2015, the number of illicit drug seizures in Ireland has decreased. Cannabis seizures have also decreased over this time, but they remain the most commonly seized type of drug in Ireland. Some 18.9pc of 15/16-year-old students had used cannabis during their lifetime, higher than the EU average.