Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Heroin users are branching out to new drugs

Recently released research from the charity, Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI), shows 75% of heroin addicts in Dublin are also dependent on other drugs.

During a study at an MQI needle exchange, researchers found that half of heroin addicts shot up at least 6 times per week and two thirds of addicts were also using drugs like methadone, benzodiazepine tranquilisers, cannabis, alcohol, steroids and cocaine.

In an interview, Tony Geoghegan, MQI chief executive said, "The report confirms people are still using heroin, but polydrug use is now the dominant trend. This means detox services in Ireland have to match the need. In Ireland there are currently no detox options for this group."

Most of the current crop of detox centres focus on people addicted to a single drug. This makes them less effective for people with multiple addictions and often leaves people with only a partial solution to their drug problem.

Potentially more worrying is the fact that 27% of the 338 study participants admitted to sharing needles or other injecting equipment in the past month. This risky behaviour contributes to both the prevalence of HIV in and hepatitis in the injection drug community.

Read more.