Trends in treated drug misuse in the Eastern Health Board area, 1996-1999. Occasional paper no. 8
This occasional paper contains information gathered by the National Drug Treatment Reporting System (NDTRS), an epidemiological database on treated drug misuse complied by the Drug Misuse Research Division (DMRD) of the Health Research Board (HRB. The data shows the number of drug users presenting for treatment in the Eastern Health Board (EHB) rose from 4283 in 1996 to 5380 in the year 1999. This was partly due to an increase in service provision and also to an increase in drug use. The socio-demographic data showed that the typical client is male, in his early twenties and living in the family home.
The main drug of misuse was opiates, with 94% of clients reporting opiates as their main problem drug in 1999. This figure rose slightly from 88% in 1996. Opiates also accounted for the majority of first treatment contacts, with 84% in 1999. Of the 4685 opiate users reporting for treatment, 71% were IDUs, with 2705 reporting having shared drug equipment at some stage in their lives and 488 currently sharing.