Prevalence of Illegal Drug Use Among Youth in Ireland According to European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD)

"The Irish data show a fall of 3 percentage points in the rate of lifetime use of any illicit drug between 2007 (22%) and 2011 (19%) (Table 2.3.1). Boys (23%) were more likely than girls (15%) to have used illicit drugs at some point in their life. As the majority of 15–16-year-olds who have tried any illicit drug have used cannabis (marijuana or hashish), the decrease in illicit drug use may be explained by the fall in the number of students who have tried cannabis at some point in their lives, from 20% in 2007 to 18% in 2011 (just above the European average of 17%). Boys (22%) were more likely than girls (15%) to use cannabis at some point in their life. Fourteen per cent of respondents had used cannabis in the year prior to the survey (higher than the European average of 12%). Only two per cent had used ecstasy at some point in their life and the proportion was the same in the year prior to the survey, indicating recent introduction to the use of this drug. In the case of cocaine powder, 3% had used it in their lifetime, just above the European average of 2%. Nine per cent of respondents reported that they had taken prescribed tranquillisers or sedatives at some point in their lives, and a further three per cent had taken them without a prescription. One in twenty had taken alcohol with pills ‘in order to get high’. Lifetime use of solvents/inhalants decreased considerably, from 15% in 2007 to 9% in 2011, and the rate is now the same as the European average (9%)."

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Irish Focal Point (2012) "2012 National Report (2011 data) to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point: Ireland: new developments, trends and in-depth information on selected issues." Dublin, Ireland: Health Research Board, p. 51.
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