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50% increase in cases seeking cocaine treatment – Merchants Quay Ireland response

50% increase in cases seeking cocaine treatment – Merchants Quay Ireland response


Merchants Quay Ireland, the national homeless and addiction charity, has said that the latest drug treatment statistics “demonstrates the depth of the drugs crisis in Ireland”.

The figures, published today by the Health Research Board (HRB), show an overall increase of 15% in cases seeking treatment, including a 50% increase in treatment for cocaine use. They also show a 14% increase in the number of cases of people who are homeless seeking treatment.

The charity has called for the full implementation of the National Drugs Strategy, including an increase in residential and community detox services.

Responding to the statistics, Merchants Quay Ireland Chief Executive Paula Byrne said,

“These figures demonstrate the depth of the growing drugs crisis in Ireland today. With over 10,000 cases of treatment for problem drug use, it’s clear that addiction is a significant challenge facing communities across Ireland.

“A 50% increase in cases seeking treatment for cocaine use is deeply concerning. In our own crisis services, we have seen an increase in clients using cocaine as their primary drug.  While it is welcome that people are seeking treatment, it makes clear that the Government cannot relent in its implementation of the National Drugs Strategy.

“The HRB figures also show that 1 in 10 of those seeking treatment are homeless, a 14% increase on 2017. The homeless crisis is clearly having a major impact on Ireland’s most vulnerable citizens.”


For more information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson, please contact:

Tom Sheppard
Communications Co-Ordinator
Merchants Quay Ireland
T: 01 531 2958
M: 086 7793 206

Twitter: @MerchantsQuayIR


Notes to the Editor

About Merchants Quay Ireland
Merchants Quay Ireland is a leading Irish charity working with people who are homeless and in addiction. The organisation provides services ranging from open access crisis intervention and health promotion services to day-support programmes, educational programmes, vocational training, residential treatment, detox and prison counselling.

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