HSE Drugs.ie, the Health Research Board (HRB) and the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) are today (Thursday, 18th March 2021) asking adults in Ireland who use drugs to complete a new survey that will help shape the future of drug policies and interventions.
Targeted at people aged 18 and over, who have used drugs in the last 12 months, the survey aims to improve understanding of patterns of drug use in 30 countries.
The anonymous survey asks people about the types of drugs they use, and why and how they use them with modules on socio-demographics, drug using patterns, access to treatment, access to drugs, quantities purchased and prices paid, and how COVID-19 has affected patterns of drug use.
This will provide valuable insight into drug use patterns and the diverse groups who use drugs in Ireland, including the use of psychedelic mushrooms and Nitrous Oxide.
Dr Eamon Keenan, National Clinical Lead, HSE Addiction Services said “We are generally well informed about people who attend addiction services but this is, of course, just part of the picture of drug use in Ireland as there are many groups who may never present to the current structures. What this survey will give us is a chance to learn about patterns, trends and emerging needs that will help to create interventions and harm reduction supports into the future.
The results of this survey will help us to form a picture of drug use in Ireland. Under the National Drugs Strategy, we are reviewing a range of ways to help us understand drug use such as drug checking services, waste water epidemiology, syringe analysis, hospital data and web surveys to improve harm reduction and risk communications.”
Speaking about the survey, Brian Galvin, Programme Manager for Drug and Alcohol Research said “The HRB has a key role monitoring drug-related trends to equip decision makers with the data and evidence they need to assess drug-related harms. Combining our routine monitoring data with innovative approaches to observation, like this survey, will improve forecasting of drug use behaviour patterns to inform intervention and prevention strategies.”
The survey will be open for Irish participation for a 6 week period starting today. The final results will be shared during the summer.
Share your experiences, take part here.
For information and support relating to your own or someone else’s drug use, go to www.drugs.ie or Freephone the HSE Helpline on 1800 459 459 Monday – Friday 9:30 am - 5:30 pm or email email@example.com