Cocaine was the main problem drug for 1 in 4 people who sought treatment last year.
The Health Research Board has found the levels of use have more than tripped since 2013.
— HealthResearchBoard (@hrbireland) July 9, 2020
Cocaine Treatment Cases More Than Tripled In A Year
A total of 2,560 cases were treated for problem cocaine use in 2019, up from 708 in 2013.
For the first time it has overtaken cannabis as the second most common drug people seek treatment for.
Dr Anne Marie Carew is a researcher with the Health Research Board.
“Cocaine was a primary issue for one-in four people treated last year,” she said.
“In fact, we saw a three-fold increase in cocaine cases."
"It accounted for around one-in-ten cases back in 2013 and that rose to one-in-four last year."
“It has now overtaken cannabis and is the second most common drug people seek treatment for.”
She said cocaine users tend to be “young men who are working.”
“Around eight-in-ten are male; half are aged 30-years-old or younger."
"While there was a very small proportion who were under the age of 18,” she said.
The report also found that there are higher levels of employment among cocaine users compared to any other drug and that the majority of users are men.
Former Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy says that's reflected in drug driving figures.
"We can see a lot of cocaine usage in that as well."
"A lot of young men, a lot of them in pretty good employment."
I would strongly encourage people with substance abuse issues to contact the HSE’s Drug and Alcohol Helpline which is available from Mon-Fri. 9.30-5.30pm 1800 459 459.” @drugsdotie @HSELive @roinnslainte
— Frank Feighan T.D. (@FrankFeighan) July 9, 2020
Of the more than 2,500 thousand cases of cocaine treatment last year, 80 per cent were male, half were under 30 and almost a third were in paid employment.