Published: 08 September 2003

Trends in treated drug misuse in the Republic of Ireland, 1996-2000

This occasional paper contains information gathered by the National Drug Treatment Reporting System (NDTRS), an epidemiological database on treated drug misuse complied by the Drug Misuse Research Division (DMRD) of the Health Research Board (HRB). This paper shows that the number of outpatient treatment centres in Ireland has increased from 35 in 1996 to 104 in 2000, with the number of inpatient services increased from 11 to 18 in the same period. The number of cases presenting for treatment and reported to the NDTRS increased form 4865 in 1996 to 6994 in 2000, which was seen as been due to an increase in drug use, an increase in service provision and an increase in the number of centres providing information. The socio-demographic data showed that the typical client is male, in his early twenties and living in the family home. By 2000 fewer clients were living in the family home, the proportion fell from 69% in 1996 to 61% in 2000. The main drug of misuse was opiates, with 76.3% (5333) of clients reporting opiates as their main problem drug in 2000. Of the 5333 opiate users reporting for treatment, 70% were IDUs, with 3000 reporting having shared drug equipment at some stage in their lives and 476 currently sharing.


  • Mary O'Brien
  • Fionnola Kelly
  • Jean Long

Publication (PDF, 96 KB)

Publication (PDF, 96 KB)

Health Research Board
Health Research Board
Place of publication

Information and documents obtained from this website are the copyright of Health Research Board unless otherwise stated. These may be reproduced and /or re-used subject to the latest Public Sector Information license, without the need for users to make a license application to the HRB.

Re-use includes copying, issuing copies to the public, publishing, broadcasting and translating into other languages. It also covers non-commercial research and study. 

Full information on the Regulations

Full information on the regulations is available from the Public Sector Information (PSI) Portal at the following web address  The Public Sector Information Portal will always have the most up to date PSI Licence.