This from yesterday's Irish Examiner:
Report highlights emerging drug trends
The research — the first on emerging trends in relation to drugs — found that street-based drug dealing had spread outside Dublin and that drugs were being sourced by phone and on the Internet.
The study also found that:
Heroin is available in all areas, less so in the north-west and south.
Cocaine is available across the country, particularly in Dublin, the south-east and the mid-west.
Cannabis, ecstasy, solvents and inhalants “very easy” to get in all areas.
Drug-related crime is reported in all areas.
The report was the work of a pilot project, the Drug Trend Monitoring System, which was set up by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD).
The project set up three new mechanisms for collecting drug data and information: the media, a network of trend monitors and drug user groups.
In an examination of the media’s coverage of drug-related court cases and drug seizures, researchers found 53% related to cannabis, 16% ecstasy, 13% cocaine and 12% heroin.
Cocaine-related cases were prominent in the media in Northern Dublin Regional Drugs Task Force (RDTF), North-Eastern, South-Eastern and Southern.
A high proportion of heroin-related cases were found in the East Coast Area and South-West Area and the Midland RDTF.
Two-thirds of court cases were for possession, the rest were for supply.
The pilot set up a novel system of data collection by establishing 156 trend monitors (TMs) across the country. These monitors included community drug workers, police, youth workers and addiction counsellors.
These TMs said the main drugs being used were cannabis, alcohol, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin. The main increases noted in relation to their contacts were for cocaine, crack cocaine and alcohol.
Intravenous drug use was found in all 10 RDTFs, including IV cocaine use in four, IV crack cocaine use in four and IV steroid use in five.
Many of the TMs reported an increase in the use of prescription drugs, such as sedatives, tranquillisers and anti-depressants.
The report was written by Dr Aileen O’Gorman, Martha Doyle, Declan Crean and Dr Gemma Cox. Last month, the NACD advertised for interested parties to operate a full-time Irish Drugs Monitoring System.