Drug Addiction in Ireland

Drug addiction became popular in the 1970s with many Irish using heroin. According to the Medico-Social Research Board, 14% from ages 14-24 in the north side of Dublin were using heroin all year in 1983. Many in Ireland use opiates, sedatives, stimulants, solvents, hallucinations, and drugs from headshops. Ireland needs to increase efforts to prevent drug usage or those statistics will continue to rise every year.

In Ireland, there used to be headshops that would open every week that would sell legal drugs to get the Irish high containing substances like mephedrone which can be very dangerous. In 2010, many of them closed. Many people in Ireland who have done hard drugs are unemployed and engaged in crime to support their habit. If Irish towns have a bad reputation for being a drug community, businesses will go down and private businesses will not invest, increasing the unemployment rate. Once they have a long-term addiction, they will feel the need to use more and more drugs in order to feel normal. Drugs can cause someone to be more aggressive and make poor choices which will increase crime. Doing IV drugs can increase the Irish of risking HIV Hepatitis B and C, and blood poisoning.

As for treatment options in Ireland, there are only thirty hospital beds for drug detox assigned by the Health Service Authority. There is the St. Francis Farm which is a detox and rehab programme that has helped over a hundred people a year escape drug addiction and offers advice and information. There are 33 Narcotics Anonymous meetings in Ireland to help break addiction and to tools for a good sober lifestyle. Smarmore Castle is on of the most respected rehabs in Ireland to provide care residential treatment. 

Harm reduction programs in ireland are for the purpose of reducing infectious diseases through needle and syringe programs. It works in encouraging less harmful ways of using and behaviors to avoid like sharing needles. National Drugs Strategy is currently doing research for the purpose of making data available on the extent of drug misuse and the factors that contribute to misuse with funding provided by the government. More research must be done to provide effective ways of providing drug abuse treatments.


Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin was founded in 1988 as a residential rehabilitation hospital treating people suffering from drug and alcohol purposes. Smarmore Castle believes in helping patients lead a life of abstinence through 12 Step programs, detox and medical treatment, psychotherapy, and complementary therapies. For more information, please call 041-214-5111. For those who live out of the country, the international number is 00353-41-214-5111.

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