Numbers using methadone up by 600% in parts of Ireland
The number of people accessing methadone in the last 10 years has risen by more than 600% in parts of Ireland.
Figures show the use of methadone treatment protocol (MTP), used to treat heroin addiction, has rapidly increased.
The number of methadone users in Co Kerry in 2018 is almost seven times higher than it was in 2008, going from 13 to 89.
Cork has seen a 400% increase, with 91 methadone users in 2008, and 398 in 2018.
Users in Co Tipperary have increased from 40 to 155, and in Co Waterford they rose from 19 to 157.
Counties such as Carlow, Cavan, Kilkenny, Longford, Offaly, Louth, Wexford, Galway and Clare have all seen their figures at least double.
In contrast, Dublin has slightly reduced its methadone user numbers from 6,669 in 2008 to 6,230 last year.
Methadone has been the mainstay of harm reduction services in Ireland.