Survey to determine the prevalence of the use of illict drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs and gambling in the general population

The Health Research Board has commissioned a national household study to gain insight into people’s behaviours and attitudes in relation to alcohol and other drugs, gambling and tobacco. This will provide us with reliable information on the extent of the use of these substances and on gambling behaviour in Ireland. We can use this information to identify gaps in policy and service provision.

About the survey

This is the fifth survey of its kind in Ireland.  Prevalence and patterns of use of alcohol and other drugs and gambling among the general population are measured by probabilistic surveys, which means that a sample of households will be selected to participate in the survey.

  • In order for the survey to be reliable we need a representative sample of the whole population and a certain minimum number of respondents.  
  • We will also need to make sure that a high proportion of those who are contacted by the survey company agree to participate.  
  • About eleven thousand households will be randomly selected from An Post’s list of all addresses in Ireland.  
  • Before the data collection works begin the survey company will write to each of these households to provide details about the survey and to ask if they will participate.

 

Who will conduct the survey?

Ipsos MRBI will conduct this survey on behalf of the HRB.

 

How will the survey be conducted?

  • The survey will be conducted by face-to-face interview and participants will be interviewed on their use of a number of substances including alcohol, tobacco, prescribed medicines and illicit drugs.
  • Additional questions to estimate prevalence of dependence will also be included in relation to alcohol, cannabis and gambling. The data collection at the selected households will start in October 2018 and will finish in late summer 2019.
  • The data collected will remain confidential at all times and it will not be possible to identify a respondent or any other member of their household from the published information.

Knowing how drugs, alcohol and tobacco are used in Ireland is important if we want to increase our understanding of these lifestyle topics and to plan health services that can respond to existing situations.  The HRB would like to encourage people to learn more about this work and we would very happy to discuss this survey or the findings of previous surveys with you.

If you would like to know more about the survey, please email us at GPS_2019@hrb.ie or ring us at 01 234-5168.