Use of cannabis herb increased the most of all illegal drugs during the first year of Covid-19 restrictions among people who took part in a large-scale EU-wide survey.
Reflecting the effective shutdown of pubs, clubs and parties across much of Europe, use of ecstasy and cocaine reduced the greatest among respondents in the year.
The survey, covering the year March 2020 to March 2021, also found that users of crack and heroin increased their consumption over that period.
Almost 49,000 people across 21 EU countries, along with nine non-EU countries, took part in the study — including nearly 5,800 Irish people.
Brian Harvey, of the Health Research Board said they, along with the HSE, were analysing the data and hope to publish separate Irish figures later in the year.
He said this was the first European Web Survey on Drugs that Ireland had participated in, with the 5,782 Irish participants mainly recruited through social media.
The report published by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction covers use of cannabis (herb and resin), cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines, methamphetamine, heroin, and new psychoactive substances (NPS), with the Irish survey also including nitrous oxide and magic mushrooms.
The survey collected data between March and April 2021.
The report said that “by far the most commonly reported setting” for drug use in the previous 12 months was the home, mentioned by more than 85 % of the respondents.
Source: Cormac O'Keeffe, Irish Examiner, 21st January 2021