Drug drop-in centre demand soars
ALMOST 4,000 drug addicts exchanged 24,000 needles at drop-in centres last year.
Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI) revealed the scale of the country's drug problem as demand for its services soared.
MQI's report for 2012 found:
* 3,634 addicts – including 558 new service users – made almost 21,000 needle-exchange visits in Dublin, an increase of 2,000.
* 75pc of those took multiple substances, with a combination of heroin, benzodiazepines and alcohol most common, making their treatment more difficult.
* 2,357 inmates were supported by 27 councillors in prisons.
* 500 drug addicts attended services in Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath, which provided over 3,000 needle exchanges in the year to 130 clients each month.
* And 134 clients filled 10 detox and 27 rehabilitation beds during the year, with a high percentage from outside Dublin.