EXCLUSIVE: Cannabis remains Ireland's illicit substance of choice + MDMA resurgent

Run in association with Hot Press, the Global Drug Survey 2016 also shows a major rise in cocaine use

Cannabis remains the country’s illegal drug of choice. That’s according to the 78.6% of Irish respondents to the Global Drug Survey 2016 who report using it over the past 12 months.

It’s a substantial increase on 2015’s 60.8% user rate and proves that when it comes to drug taking we’re actually a pretty conservative bunch.

That cannabis supplies are abundant is evident from the fact that resin now costs an average €18.30 per gram as opposed to last year’s €25. Even so, Irish cannabis is still among the most expensive in the world with only Norwegians (€22.80) and Canadians (€31.60) having to pay more to indulge.

Skunk will set you back an average €23.10 per gram.

Despite its prevalence, only 1.7% report seeking emergency medical treatment as a result of their cannabis use.

The good news is that synthetic cannabis, which is considered to be 30 times more dangerous than the herbal variety it aims to mimic, has failed to gain a significant toehold here with only a 1.9% usage rate.

Anecdotal evidence suggested a massive resurgence in MDMA use and so it’s proved to be with those taking it here up 19.5% to 58.1%.

Also far more prevalent is cocaine, up from 24.8% to 43%. It’s often said that, along with unemployment figures, cocaine use is an indicator of how bullish the economy is.

Magic Mushrooms are seriously back in vogue too at 22.7% (last year: 8.1%) with Ketamine 19.8% (8.9%); LSD 17.6% (8.5%); 2cb 13.5% (6.5%); Amphetamines 12.7% (5.1%); Poppers 9.6% (3.8%); Benzos 8.35% (4.3%); Truffles 7.9% (2.7%); Nitrous 7.2% (3%), and Tramadol 6.7% (3.9%) among the other major key players. Those figures indicate that, like our British neighbours, we're increasingly engaging in poly drug use.

Having not featured at all in 2015, one of the drugs most closely associated with the gay chemsex scene, GHB, is being taken by 1.4% of respondents.

Making their Global Drug Survey bow this year are such substances as Zdrug, MDA, 25inbome, dextromethorphan, dexamphetamine and methoxetamine, none of which are used by more than 3% of those surveyed here but are still very much part of the chemical landscape.

Stay tuned for more Global Drug Survey 2016 coverage.

* The Global Drug Survey 2016 was conducted in association with global media partners including Hot Press in the Republic of Ireland

 

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