One person a week dies in Cork from an overdose of drugs or alcohol

One person a week dies in Cork from an overdose of drugs or alcohol
Cocaine poisoning deaths increased from 42 to 53 in 2016, an increase of 26% while heroin poisoning deaths increased slightly from 74 deaths in 2016 to 77 deaths in 2017. Pic: iStock

ALMOST one person a week is dying in Cork after overdosing from either drugs or alcohol.

That is according to the latest figures available from the Health Research Board, which has revealed that 43 people died in Cork city and county from overdoses in both 2017 and 2016.

This is compared with just 27 in 2010.

The numbers are the highest in the country outside of Dublin.

Between 2008 and 2017, there were 367 drug overdose deaths in Cork, accounting for just under 10% of deaths nationally.

Nationally, the HRB said the average age of overdose victims was 43, and 73% of those who died were men.

The report added: “More than half (58%) of poisoning deaths involved polydrugs, with an average of four different drugs involved.

Benzodiazepines were the most common prescribable drug group implicated in polydrug deaths.” 

The figures also showed an increase in cocaine-related cases.

The report said: “Cocaine poisoning deaths increased from 42 to 53 (nationally) in 2016, an increase of 26%.”

It continued: “MDMA poisoning deaths increased from eight in 2016 to 14 in 2017, an increase of 75%. Heroin poisoning deaths increased slightly from 74 deaths in 2016 to 77 deaths in 2017.”

Gardaí in Cork have highlighted that cocaine is now as popular as heroin in the city, and is being used across all sectors of society.

125 of the 376 overdose deaths had alcohol as a factor.

The report highlighted a decrease of 9% of deaths involving alcohol, but it was the most common individual drug implicated in such deaths.

The report outlined: “Alcohol alone was responsible for 15% (61) of all poisoning deaths in 2017, similar to 2016.”

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