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dc.contributor.authorHealth Protection Surveillance Centre
dc.descriptionThe main risk factor for transmission of bloodborne viruses (BBVs) in drug users in Ireland is injecting opioids, particularly heroin. Estimates from a 2014 capture-recapture study indicate that there are just under 19,000 problem opioid users in Ireland, with over 70% living in Dublin 1. This is similar to the estimate from a previous capture-recapture study carried out in 20062. However, the age profile of opioid users changed significantly between 2006 and 2014. Results from the 2014 study indicate that 60% of Ireland’s opioid users are aged between 35 and 64 years compared to less than one third in the 2006 study. Furthermore, only 6% were aged between 15 and 24 years compared to over one fifth in the previous study. These results indicate a high prevalence of opioid use among older drug users, but a declining incidence of problem opioid use in Ireland. Trends from the National Drug Treatment Reporting System (NDTRS) indicate a steady decline in new entrants to treatment who reported opioids as their primary problem drug between 2009 and 2016, and a decrease in the proportion who inject3-6. However, cocaine and benzodiazepine use has increased in recent years. These are associated with a lower risk of BBVs, as they are less likely to be injected. However, 2% of those entering treatment for cocaine in 2015 were currently injecting and a further 12% had injected drugs in the past. Cocaine was also hypothesised to be responsible for high rates of HIV infection in a cohort of drug users in an inner-city area of Dublin in a 2001 study7. Furthermore, people who use cocaine, benzodiazepines and other drugs, such as new psychoactive substances, image and performance enhancing drugs, or chemsex drugs, may be less likely to self-identify as problem drug users and less likely to avail of BBV testing, harm reduction and drug treatment.en_US
dc.publisherHealth Service Executive (HSE)en_US
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States*
dc.subjectDRUG USERSen_US
dc.titleDrug-related bloodborne viruses in Ireland 2018en_US
dc.contributor.departmentHealth Service Executive (HSE)en_US

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