- Sex & Drugs
- 20 Jan 22
Cannabis (52%); Cocaine (25%); Ecstasy (23%); Ketamine (16%); and Mushrooms (12%) are the five most prevalent substances on campuses here
Over 11,500 students from 21 higher education institutions have taken part in a first-of-its-kind survey to determine the prevalence and type of drug use among Ireland's third level population.
The Drug Use In Higher Education Institutions (DUHEI) survey was developed by the My Understanding of Substance-use Experiences (MyUSE) research team in University College Cork (UCC), with Dr Michael Byrne, Head of University College Cork (UCC) Student Health and lead of the DUHEI Project team stating: “This report is an important resource for the Department and our higher education institutions. It helps understand the prevalence of drug use and the range of drugs being used by our students as well as detailing the impacts and effects, including harms caused by drug use in our student population. This data is vital to map the extent of the issue and will help us to develop appropriate responses and monitor trends in drug use in higher education over the coming years.”
Among the key findings are:
* Over half of students surveyed reported using an illicit drug, with over one-third reporting drug use in the last year, and one-fifth reporting using drugs in the last month.
* Over half of students surveyed felt drug use is a normal part of student life, but over half also felt drug use has a somewhat negative or an extremely negative impact on student life.
* Of those who had used drugs during COVID-19, one in three students had decreased their use; while just less than one in four had increased their use over this period
* One in four male students report current drug use compared with one in six females.
* Current drug use rises year on year to peak in last the two years in college.
* The most commonly used drugs are cannabis (52%); cocaine (25%); ecstasy (23%); ketamine (16%); mushrooms (12%); amphetamines (9%) and New Psychoactive Substances (8%). This order of prevalence of drugs/drug types is maintained across all three user groups.
* Cocaine has replaced ecstasy to now be the 2nd commonest drug used by students.
*For the majority of drug types, the age of first use was between 19-21, whereas for cannabis it was between 16-18. One in four current users starting use before they were 16 years of age
* Over one in two current users, are at moderate or substantial risk of harms arising from their drug use.
After crunching those numbers, the Union of Students of Ireland recommend that:
* Each higher education institution (HEI) should develop and implement a Drug and Alcohol Action Plan specific to the HEI and their students.
* HEIs should embed actions on drugs and alcohol within the new Healthy Campus Framework, as part of the Healthy Campus initiative.
* HEIs should benefit from the expertise and support of the Health Service Executive in implementing actions on drugs and alcohol.
* This DUHEI survey should be repeated at 5-yearly intervals to monitor trends in drug use prevalence, attitudes, and behaviours amongst students in Ireland.
Launching the report, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD says: “This is an important resource for the Department and our higher education institutions. It helps understand the prevalence of drug use and the range of drugs being used by our students as well as detailing the impacts and effects, including harms caused by drug use in our student population. This data is vital to map the extent of the issue and will help us to develop appropriate responses and monitor trends in drug use in higher education over the coming years.”
Read the report in full at http://www.duhei.ie/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/duhei21.pdf
- Sex & Drugs
- 14 Jul 21