Alcohol poisoning claiming one life a week in Ireland - study
Published 15/12/2015 | 02:30
Alcohol poisoning claims one life every week in Ireland, an expert group has warned.
Statistics from the Health Research Board (HRB) found alcohol was implicated in a third of all poisoning deaths (137) in 2013.
Some 234 people died because they took a mixture of drugs.
Overall the study showed nearly two people died each day from poisoning, trauma or medical causes linked with drug use in 2013, with 679 deaths recorded.
Graham Love, HRB chief executive, said it was not just people who used illegal drugs who were dying.
"Alcohol is implicated in more poisoning deaths than any other single drug, and alcohol poisonings alone claim one life per week," he said.
"Mixing drugs is another dangerous behaviour that is resulting in death.
"For example, 80pc of drugs implicated along with alcohol were prescription drugs."
The expert body said heroin was on the rise again, with 86 overdose deaths recorded as heroin-related. In almost 50pc of these cases, the user was injecting at the time.
Minister of State for Drugs Aodhán Ó Ríordáin expressed concern about the increase in heroin deaths.
"There are no easy solutions to addressing what is a very complex problem," he said.
There have been 6,002 deaths among people who used drugs in the past decade, according to the HRB.
Non-poisoning deaths among people, ie trauma or medical cases, accounted for 292 deaths.