Sign up now for ease of access to The Medical Independent, Ireland’s most frequently published medical newspaper, delivering award-winning news and investigative reporting.

  • receive the eCopy two days prior to the printed edition.
  • can partake in our online MCQs.
  • can enter our online sports quiz. is Ireland's only investigative medical news website for doctors, healthcare professionals and anyone with an interest in health issues.

Established in 2010, along with its sister publication The Medical Independent, our stated aim is to investigate and analyse the major issues affecting healthcare and the medical profession in Ireland. The Medical Independent has won a number of awards for its investigative journalism, and its stories are frequently picked up by national digital, broadcast and print media. The Medical Independent is published by GreenCross Publishing.

Address: Top Floor, 111 Rathmines Road Lr, Dublin 6

Tel: 353 (01) 441 0024

GreenCross Publishing is owned by Graham Cooke.

Over 54,000 cases of problem alcohol use treated over six-year period

By Mindo - 19th Nov 2019 | 17 views

Friends with beer toasting in a pub

Latest alcohol treatment figures from the Health Research Board (HRB) show 54,263 cases of people being treated for problem alcohol use in Ireland between 2012 and 2018. There were 7,464 treated cases during 2018, a small increase compared to 7,350 in 2017.

Almost seven-in-ten cases were already alcohol dependent. Many people in treatment had been drinking more in a typical day than would be recommended in a week based on HSE low risk guidelines.

The number of cases presenting with cocaine as an additional problem drug continues to rise. According to Dr Darrin Morrissey, Chief Executive at the Health Research Board:
‘More people receive treatment for alcohol as a main problem drug than any other drug in Ireland. One-in-five cases seeking alcohol treatment also report problem use of other drugs, which is known to make recovery harder.

‘Cocaine continues to increase as an additional drug being used by both men and women who present for alcohol treatment. This is of concern because mixing alcohol and cocaine can lead to greater physical harm, more severe side-effects and increased impairment.’

Commenting on the trends, which are based on figures from the HRB’s National Drug Treatment Reporting System, Dr Anne Marie Carew, Research Officer at the HRB said:
‘Two-in-three new cases were already dependent on alcohol when they presented to treatment for the first time. This means that more people are presenting when the problem is already severe which makes treatment more complex and recovery more difficult.’

‘On average, both men and women presenting for treatment were drinking more in a typical day than would be recommended by the HSE in one week for low risk drinking. The median number of standard drinks consumed by women on a typical day was 15, while for men it was 20.

Evidence shows that the social and health risks from alcohol increase the more you drink.’
Low-risk drinking guidelines from the HSE say up to 11 standard drinks in a week for women, and up to 17 standard drinks in a week for men. That is half a pint of regular beer, 100 mls of wine or a pub measure (35mls) of spirits. Drinks should be spaced out over the week, with two to three alcohol free days per week.

Leave a Reply

Latest Issue
medical news
The Medical Independent 19th May 2022

You need to be logged in to access this content. Please login or sign up using the links below.

Most Read