The study, purported to be the first of its type in Ireland, said the financial cost and ensuing debts appear to be a “catalyst” to change.
Half of users in the research said they had been threatened because of drug debts with more than 60% saying they had sold drugs to fund their own usage.
The research was carried out among eight users, aged between 15 and 18, in drug treatment in Dublin.
The authors said that while it was a small study, it was common in qualitative research.
The research was conducted by Philip David James, Substance Use Service for Teens, St Brigid's Hospital, Ardee, Catherine Comiskey, School of Nursing in Trinity College Dublin and Bobby Smyth, Youth Drug & Alcohol Service in Tallaght, Dublin.
The research, published in the Journal of Addictions Nursing, found that five of the eight teenagers had first taken cannabis at the age of 13 or younger.
The authors said the young age of first use was “one of the most concerning aspects” of their findings.
Source: Cormac O'Keeffe, Irish Examiner, 17th September 2019