Rise in alcohol and drug dependency in Ireland, new research finds

Binge-drinking in one day remains a problem, particularly for women in Ireland, according to new research.

Half of women seeking alcohol treatment drank the equivalent of nearly two bottles of wine in a day, the Heath Research Board found.

Women seeking treatment typically drank 15 standard drinks on a given day, far exceeding HSE guidelines of up to 11 standard drinks per week, while men drank 20.

Health Research Board researcher Susie Lyons says there is also is a rise in mixing alcohol with other drugs:

“What is notable for 2019 is that we’ve seen a very significant increase of a number of people reporting problems with alcohol and cocaine.

“In fact there’s been an 84 per cent increase in the number of cases reporting problem cocaine use along with alcohol.”

Cannabis was the most common additional drug used by both men and women, followed by cocaine.

One-in-five cases in alcohol treatment also reported problem use of other drugs along with alcohol.

The new study shows 7,546 people were treated in 2019, a slight rise from 7,464 in the previous year.

Seven in ten people are already dependent on alcohol when they first seek treatment.

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