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Drop in numbers treated for alcohol use


The number of people being treated for problem alcohol use in Ireland is dropping.

However, health experts have warned that the issue continues to be a major public health problem here.

"It results in harm to the person, their family and society in general," Graham Love, Chief Executive of the Health Research Board (HRB) said.

Its figures reveal that the number of people returning for treatment is also decreasing.

A new report shows that in 2013, a total of 7,549 cases were treated for problem alcohol use, which was a drop of 12pc since 2011.

Half of the people who presented for treatment started drinking at 15 years of age or younger. There has been little change in this finding over the past five years.

In addition, half of those seeking treatment were aged 40 or younger, the figures revealed.

Almost one-in-five of the cases treated for problem alcohol use in 2013 used at least one other drug.

The most common drugs used with alcohol were cannabis, followed by cocaine, sedatives and ecstasy.

Meanwhile, the numbers presenting for treatment were highest in Waterford, Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Carlow in the five-year period to 2013.

Dr Suzi Lyons, senior researcher with the HRB said it is notable that fewer people are presenting for problem alcohol treatment.

"However the reason for this is not yet clear," Dr Lyons stated as the figures were pubilshed.