Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

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Publication of Statistics from the Northern Ireland Drug Misuse Database: 1 April 2012 - 31 March 2013

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety today published the Statistics from the Northern Ireland Drug Misuse Database: 1 April 2012 - 31 March 2013. 

The statistical bulletin provides information on individuals presenting to treatment services with problem drug misuse that is collected through the Northern Ireland Drug Misuse Database (DMD), which was established in April 2000.

In Northern Ireland during 2012/13:
 

  • A total of 2,824 clients presented to services for problem drug misuse and gave their consent for their details to be included in the DMD. This was 6% lower than in 2011/12 (2,999 clients).
  • More than three-quarters of clients (77%) were male. Male clients were younger than female clients. For males, 37% were aged 18-25 and 18% were aged over 40. For females, 18% were aged 18-25 and 51% were aged over 40.
  • Over four-fifths of all clients (84%) used at least one hypnotic drug, with 64% of all clients using a hypnotic drug as their main drug.
  • Two-fifths of all clients (42%) used at least one stimulant drug, with 14% of all clients using a stimulant drug as their main drug.
  • Over one quarter of all clients (27%) used at least one opioid analgesic drug, with 19% of all clients using an opioid analgesic drug as their main drug.
  • Considering all drugs used by clients, the most commonly reported drug was Cannabis (used by 58% of clients) followed by Benzodiazepines (used by 44% of clients) and Cocaine (used by 27% of clients).
  • Cannabis was used by 38% of clients as the main drug of misuse in 2012/13, compared with 41% of clients in 2011/12.
  • A similar proportion of clients (25%) used Benzodiazepines as the main drug of misuse in 2012/13, compared with 2011/12 (24%).
  • The proportion of those who had ever injected rose from 7% in 2011/12 to 9% in 2012/13, with 21% of clients in the Northern Trust area reporting ever injecting.


Notes to editors:

1. The Bulletin is published on the Departmental website at: http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/index/stats_research/stats-public-health/stats-drug-alcohol.htm

2. This information was collated by the Public Health Information and Research Branch (PHIRB) in the DHSSPS. 

3. A problem drug user is defined as a person who experiences social, psychological, physical or legal problems (related to intoxication and/or regular excessive consumption and/or dependence) as a consequence of their own use of drugs or chemical substances. 

4. Drugs are defined as any drug, whether prescribed or not, including solvents and tranquillisers but excluding alcohol and tobacco.

5. The bulletin presents information on the profile of service users; drugs misused by those that presented for treatment; individuals’ previous history of treatment; injecting and sharing by drug users; and previous history of testing for viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis.

6. Participation in the DMD requires clients to give consent to their data being included. Information relating to 2,963 individuals that presented to drug misuse treatment services in 2012/13 was received: in 2,824 cases (95%), individual consent was given for including data within the DMD. Analyses are based on these 2,824 individuals. In the previous year (2011/12), information relating to 3,123 individuals that presented to drug misuse treatment services was received: 2,999 (96%) of these gave consent for their data to be held on the DMD.

7. This is the twelfth bulletin reporting on information collected through the Northern Ireland DMD. The next publication is scheduled for October 2014. 

8. Additional Information

Further information is available from:
Public Health Information and Research Branch
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
Annex 2
Castle Buildings
Stormont
Belfast BT4 3SQ
Telephone: 028 9052 2509
E-mail: PHIRB@dhsspsni.gov.uk

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