Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Statistics from the Northern Ireland Drug Misuse Database: 1


The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety have released a new bulletin summarising information on people presenting to services with problem drug misuse . It is the fourth bulletin reporting on information collected through the Northern Ireland Drug Misuse Database (DMD), which was established in April 2000 and which collects detailed data, including information on drugs misused and injecting behaviour, on those presenting for treatment.

Women (4%) were four times as likely as men (1%) to report the use of solvents.

There were also differences by age: cannabis and solvent use was most common amongst young people aged 15 or less – accounting for 85% and 11% of users in this age group respectively.

There were substantial differences in age of first use for different drugs. The lowest average age of first use was for other hallucinogens (11 years), although it should be noted that this is based on a single user. The next lowest average was solvents (just under 13 years) followed by Cannabis (15 years), ecstasy (17 years) and amphetamines (19 years). The average age of first use of both crack and heroin was 21 years. Cocaine and other stimulants had similar average
ages of first use (both 22 years), whilst other opiates (26), benzodiazepines (27), codeine and paracetamol combinations (29) and methadone (29) tended to be used for the first time at later ages.

Click here to link to the full report.