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Aontú Criticise Stormont’s Negligence in Addressing Drug Usage in the North

Aontú Deputy Leader & Cllr for Mid Ulster, Denise Mullen, has criticised the Stormont Establishment’s negligence in addressing the issue of drug usage in the North, and the worsening state of the issue.

Speaking on the issue Cllr Denise Mullen said:

“ DRUG USAGE In Northern Ireland in 2019/20, a total of 4,264 clients were recorded on the Substance Misuse Database as having presented to services for problem substance misuse.More than one-third of clients presented to services indicating problem drug use only (35.8%, 1,525); just under one-third presented indicating problem alcohol use only (32.8%, 1,397); 31.5% of clients presented to services indicating both drug and alcohol misuse (1,342 clients).”

“The majority of clients were male, with only around a fifth of clients presenting to treatment for either drugs only, or for drugs & alcohol, being female (23.2% & 17.7% respectively). However, for those clients presenting to treatment for problem alcohol use only, two-fifths were female (41.9%).”

“The most common age group for clients presenting to treatment was 26-39 years for both drug misuse only clients (39.7%), and for drug & alcohol misuse clients (44.3%); however clients accessing services for misuse of alcohol only tended to be in older age-groups with 71.5% being 40 years and over.Cannabis was the most commonly used drug with almost two-thirds of clients who use drugs reporting taking it (65.2%), this was followed by Cocaine (45.8%); Benzodiazepines (31.4%); Pregabalin (21.8%) and Ecstasy (16.2%).”

“More than one in ten drug use clients reported ever having injected (13.9%); of those who had injected, more than a quarter (26.9%) reported having shared injecting equipment at some time.Of those clients presenting to services for drug misuse, two-thirds indicated daily use (67.9%); of those clients attending for problem alcohol use, almost half (45.0%) indicated daily consumption of alcohol.

I call on Stormont to do more to tackle drugs in our community and tackle this issue head on.”

ENDS

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