A warning from an EU drugs agency emerged as recent Irish figures show a 90% jump in new cocaine treatment cases since 2012.
Furthermore, the HSE last week issued warnings about the circulation of high strength MDMA (ecstasy) tablets following two deaths at a music festival in the UK and as the festival season kicks off in Ireland.
However, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction is also concerned at rising detections of “highly potent” synthetic heroin, known as fentanyl, which can kill in “minute” doses, with deaths in Ireland.
The agency’s European Drug Report 2018, using Irish data supplied by the Health Research Board, also shows: n Increasing recent (last year) use of cannabis among young adults in Ireland, approaching the EU average of 14% n In line with previous reports, Ireland continues to have one of the highest drug mortality rates (70 per million people) — fourth highest, with the UK, in the EU (average 22 per million). n Based on 2015 data, Ireland has the second highest recent use of ecstasy among young adults, at 4.4%, compared to EU average of 1.8%. n Ireland has the fourth highest recent use of cocaine among young adults, at 2.9%, against a 1.9% EU average.
Source: Cormac O'Keeffe, The Irish Examiner, 08/06/18