'Worrying trend' in crack cocaine use as number being treated rises 44%

 According to the board's annual report, the number of people being treated for crack cocaine use increased by 44% between 2018 and last year.

The numbers being treated for cocaine overall have tripled since 2013.

HRB research officer Dr Anne Marie Carew said in general those seeking treatment for cocaine are male, 30 years of age, in paid employment and most likely to use alcohol as an additional drug.

"However, a rise in reporting of crack cocaine is a worrying trend where cases with chronic problem drug use, mix crack cocaine with opioids.

"These cases are more likely to be unemployed and homeless. It is important that this distinction is noted in order to monitor trends and tailor treatments accordingly."

The report found that there were a total of 10,664 cases of drug treatment last year, which is up 18% on 2013.

Read John Kilraine article from RTE news here