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One in four admits to the use of cannabis

By Steven McCaffery

Over a quarter of people in Ireland, north and south, have used illegal drugs at some stage in their lives, according to a new survey.

Research on the prevalence of drug use in Northern Ireland and the Republic found around 27% of people surveyed in each jurisdiction admitted to taking illegal substances.

The most commonly used drug was cannabis, with 24% of those interviewed in the north, and 25% in the south, confirming having taken the illegal drug.

The information was gathered through face-to-face interviews with respondents aged 15-64 and was carried out between October 2010 and May this year.

Those interviewed in the Republic reported that, after cannabis, the most commonly used drugs were ecstasy, cocaine and magic mushrooms (each 7%), followed by amphetamines (5%), LSD and poppers (each 4%).

Less than 1% reported having ever used crack (0.6%), heroin (0.8%) or methadone (0.5%).

The lifetime prevalence rate for any illegal drugs was highest among those aged 25-34 years (42%), followed by the 35-44 (29%) and 15-24 (27%) age groups.

A total of 5% of respondents here reported using cannabis in the last year, and 3% of respondents reported using it in the last month. After cannabis, the most commonly used illegal drugs in Northern Ireland were poppers and ecstasy (each 9%), cocaine powder (6%), amphetamines and magic mushrooms (each 6%), LSD (5%), and solvents (4%).

Belfast Telegraph


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