Cannabis most common drug in Western Trust area

Cannabis

Cannabis

  • Men almost three times more likely to be addicted to drugs
  • Unemployed people are more than four times more likely
  • Total figure has reduced since 2012
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The most common drug taken in the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) area within the last year was cannabis, according to research carried out on behalf of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS).

The information was presented in the Northern Ireland Drug Misuse Database (DMD) for the period April 1 2014 to March 31 this year.

The DMD summarises the information on people presenting to services throughout the North with drug misuse problems.

In the period from April 1 2014 to March 31 2015, 310 people presented to services throughout the WHSCT area with drug misuse problems.

Of those 310 people, 69 per cent admitted to having taken cannabis, 31 per cent took Methadrone/Mephadrone; 23.2 per cent said they had a drugs misuse problem with cocaine; 21 per cent said they had taken benzodiazepines (tranquilizers) and 10 per cent of those interviewed revealed that they had injected themselves with drugs.

Men living in the WHSCT area are much more likely to have a problem with drugs misuses than women.

Cocaine user

Cocaine user

Of the 310 people from the WHSCT area who provided information for the DMD a staggering 74.5 per cent (231) were men and 25.5 per cent (79) were female.

Males under 18 years-old accounted for 11.7 per cent of the total male population presenting with drugs misuse problems in the WHSCT; 35.5 per cent were aged between 18 and 25; 36.8 per cent were aged between 26 and 29 while 16 per cent were 40 years-old and over.

Females under 18 years-old accounted for 7.6 per cent of the total female population presenting with drugs misuse problems in the WHSCT; 30.4 per cent were aged between 18 and 25; 44.3 per cent were aged between 26 and 39 years-old and 17.7 per cent were 40 years-old and over.

Almost 80 per cent of the 310 people in the WHSCT area revealed that they took drugs daily.

Males under 18 years-old accounted for 11.7 per cent of the total male population presenting with drugs misuse problems in the

The most common treatment proposed to people presenting with drugs misuse problems in the WHSCT area was counselling (87.7 per cent). Education and information was the proposed treatment for 55.5 per cent.

People living with parents/parents and siblings accounted for 40 per cent of those with drugs misuse problems in the WHSCT area whilst 31.6 per cent lived alone.

Unemployed people living in the WHSCT area were over four times (67.7 per cent) more likely to present with a drugs misuse problem than those in employment (16.1 per cent).

Thirty people in the WHSCT area admitted to having injected themselves with drugs. Of that number, 73.3 per cent tested for HIV.

The number of people presenting with drugs misuse problems in the WHSCT area has reduced over the last three years.

In 2012/13, 378 people presented with drugs misuse problems, in 2013/14 the total was 367 and for 2014/15 the final tally was 310.