Dáil Éireann - Volume 520 - 08 June, 2000
Written Answers. - Drug Abuse Statistics.
Mr. G. Mitchell Mr. G. Mitchell
125. Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of illegal drug abusers here in each of the years 1990, 1995, 1999 and to date in 2000. [16279/00]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): It is impossible to provide hard data on the number of illegal drug users. The Health Research Board is working with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction on various prevalence estimates which would be comparable on a European-wide basis. Various estimates have been made on the number of opiate misusers in the country. Because of the illicit nature of drug misuse it is difficult to get a clear estimate of the extent of the problem. Present estimates range from around 8,500 to 13,500. The ministerial task force suggested a figure of 8,000, confined mainly to Dublin city. The Health Research Board report on treated drug misuse in Ireland in 1998 gave a figure of 5,076 cases treated in the Eastern Health Board area and 967 in the rest of the country receiving treatment. It must be emphasised however, that this is the number of people receiving treatment, and the number of people misusing drugs would be greatly in excess of this figure.
In 1990 the number of cases presenting for treatment in the greater Dublin area was 1,752. There was no national estimate in 1990. In 1995 the number of cases in the greater Dublin area was 3,593, while the number in other health boards was 803, giving a total of 4,496.
Dáil Éireann 520 Written Answers. Drug Abuse Statistics.