Rise in people being treated a second time for alcohol addiction

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The number of people in Ireland who are having to undergo a second attempt to beat the booze is on the rise, new figures reveal.

The proportion of people who re-entered treatment for alcohol addiction has risen from 46pc to 50pc in recent years.

Overall 53,763 people were treated for problem alcohol use between 2010 and 2016, according to the Health Research Board report.

There is a rise in new patients who are already dependant in alcohol.

This means the problem of addiction is already severe and it makes recovery more difficult. Some 7,643 sought help in 2016 as the economy improved and the country emerged from the effects of recession.

The report comes after a global study last week revealed women in Ireland are consuming an average of three alcoholic drinks a day, ranking them among the biggest drinkers in the world.

Men in Ireland are downing an average of 4.5 alcoholic drinks daily. The latest figures show two-thirds of those who seek help for their addiction are men.

One in five people treated mixed alcohol with other drugs, with cannabis the most common substance abused.

Cocaine was the second most abused drug followed by tranquillisers. Four in 10 had the treatment in a residential facility.


The average age at which they started drinking was 16.

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A majority of those classed as “alcohol dependant” were unemployed, while three in 10 were over 50.

Some 10pc were “hazardous” drinkers. Hazardous drinking is defined as a pattern that brings about the risk of physical or psychological harm.

Senior researcher Dr Suzi Lyons said: “Alcohol is the main problem drug that people enter treatment for.”

The 7,643 having treatment for alcohol in 2016 contrasts with the 4,342 for opiates and 2,439 for cannabis.

Irish Independent

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