FEWER young people are experimenting with heroin and getting addicted to the lethal substance, HSE’s head of addiction services in Cork and Kerry David Lane has said.
HSE's head of addiction services in Cork and Kerry David Lane told the County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) that from what he could see, working in the services, there was a decline in the number of young heroin users coming into the system.
Mr Lane said that fewer young people, in their late teens and early 20s were presenting to the HSE Drug and Alcohol taskforce for heroin misuse.
“I’ve been involved in this kind of work for a long number of years and I’ve been looking at trends over that time and things change, trends ebb and flow in terms of drug and alcohol use and in terms of what people are using, how often and the nature of that drug use.
“In terms of class A drugs, heroin in particular, at a national level as well, we are seeing fewer younger people, in their late teens and early 20s, getting involved in heroin misuse.
“So the age profile of the people we are treating across Cork and Kerry is seeing that increase in terms of that age profile of people getting caught in serious drug use.” Mr Lane said this was a positive to take from the ongoing issue of alcohol and drug abuse that is prevalent across the county and country.
The head of addiction services in Cork and Kerry also emphasised the importance of the recently published research on drug and alcohol misuse among young people.
“The Health Behaviours among Schoolchildren report was published last Thursday. This is a piece of research completed every five years. It takes a significant number of young people and looks at trends in relation to a whole host of health things.” Mr Lane said that the researchers worked with 15,000 young people and found that the level of alcohol use and experimentation in drug use in under 18s in this country is decreasing.
“That is significant,” Mr Lane said, “This is the first time since they started the research, that they have seen a decrease.”