Trebling of deaths linked to drug use

By Terrapinzflyer · Nov 19, 2009 · Updated Nov 25, 2009 · ·
  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Trebling of deaths linked to drug use
    MORE than 230 drug users have hanged themselves or drowned over an eight-year period, according to research.

    The study shows the total number of deaths linked to drug use has trebled – from 63 in 1998 to 167 in 2005.

    Health experts said this reflects greater drug use among people and an increase in risky behaviour.

    In groundbreaking research into what are called non-poisoning deaths, a total of 885 drug users have died between 1998 and 2005. This includes 67 drug users aged between 15 and 19 and 144 aged between 20 and 24.

    The death toll of 885 includes 476 traumatic deaths, such as suicide, road traffic accidents and shootings, and 270 medical deaths, such as liver disease and cardiac arrest. These indirect deaths are in addition to the 1,553 deaths due to poisonings, or direct deaths caused by the toxic effects of drugs themselves.

    The Health Research Board (HRB), which conducted the detailed work, said the number of traumatic deaths doubled, from 39 in 1998 to 83 in 2005.

    Dr Suzi Lyons, senior researcher at the HRB, said the high number of road traffic collisions involving drugs was "further evidence of the need" to expand forensic analysis, including a reliable road-side test.

    Dr Lyons said that the vast majority of traumatic deaths tested positive for drugs, but stressed this did not necessarily mean that the substance contributed to the death.

    She said:

    * Alcohol was present in almost two-thirds of cases, while cannabis was the illegal drug most commonly found.

    * Cannabis, heroin and cocaine were found in greatest proportions in deaths due to violence.

    * Ecstasy (MDMA) was found in the greatest proportion in RTC deaths.

    Dr Lyons said many of the deaths by hanging or drowning were positive for alcohol, cannabis, benzodiazepines (minor tranquillisers) and anti-depressants.

    She said that the presence of anti-depressants suggested they were in treatment for a mental health condition.

    By Cormac O’Keeffe

    Share This Article


  1. chrisjames13
    'Ecstasy (MDMA) was found in the greatest proportion in RTC deaths.'

    I highly doubt this; I would like to see toxicology reports done on these bodies after reading this statement to believe this one. Maybe, Ecstacy use was reported and MDMA not screened? Much ecstasy is not MDMA anymore.

    SWIM has since reported to me after reading this that SWIM has driven on MDMA and finds himself way more alert to other drivers and his driving. SWIM does not feel it safe for anyone to be driving under the influence of said substances; however, SWIM feels that over the counter drugs, booze, vicodin or cough medicine impairs his driving much worse than MDMA.

    After some more rethinking on this though... Perhaps sleep deprivation along with added high doses of MDMA could be inducing enough visual stimulation to lead to this.
  2. chrisjames13
    Concerning this... 'After some more rethinking on this though... Perhaps sleep deprivation along with added high doses of MDMA could be inducing enough visual stimulation to lead to this.'

    Swim reports he feels he is an alert driver whilst on this stuff.

    So this had me thinking has Swiy or anyone heard of anyone ever experiencing hallucinations off of MDMA that caused them to have to pull over or take a break from driving? Were they suffering from sleep deprivation at the time?

    Swim does report feeling as if he were driving inside of a bubble sort to speak traveling he kept thinking he was floating through time on a spinning planet and it was quite a profound feeling with an intense body euphoria whilst driving. Swim felt as if swim were floating in space inside of a car sort to speak and could see for miles with enhanced vision.
  3. signifier
    The methods of reporting are changing all the time, so stats like this are skewed or useless.
    Unhappy people often self-medicate to try and improve their feelings about life.
    Sadly, this is not the answer and they take their lives.


    That would then give the correct context in which to judge this report...
  4. signifier
    In addition to my last point:

    Increasing awareness of drug use has recently led to increased testing in cases such as deaths by road traffic accident etc. Formerly, alcohol was the only thing tested for in most countries.

    Drug lies are not productive....
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!