Alcohol treatment in Ireland: HRB publishes latest figures

Latest alcohol treatment figures from the Health Research Board (HRB) show 55,675 cases* were treated for problem alcohol use in Ireland between 2011 and 2017. There were 7,350 treated cases during 2017, a decrease from 7,643 in 2016.

  • Three-in-every four cases were alcohol dependent.
  • Women have similar rates of alcohol dependence to men.
  • Polydrug use affects one in five cases presenting for treatment.

According to Dr Darrin Morrissey, Chief Executive at the Health Research Board,

‘Alcohol remains the main problem drug that people enter treatment for in Ireland. The HRB generate this report each year by analysing data from multiple treatment services across Ireland, which provides solid evidence to inform policy and plan health services for alcohol treatment’.

Commenting on the trends over time, which are based on figures from the National Drug Treatment Reporting System, Dr Suzi Lyons, Senior Researcher at the HRB said;

‘We can see a continued increase since 2011 in the percentage of new cases who were already dependent** on alcohol when they present to treatment for the first time, from 50% in 2011 to 68%in 2017. This means that more people are presenting when the problem is already severe which makes treatment more complex and recovery more difficult.’

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Source: Health Research Board, March 20th 2019