Alcohol and Drugs
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Prevalence

Alcohol misuse poses the third highest health risk.
Cannabis is the most frequently misused drug.
One person in 20 in the UK has smoked cannabis.
Older people are more likely to misuse prescription medications - sedatives, tranquillizers and antidepressants.
Ecstasy kills more 16-24 year olds than other stimulants

General use

  • 20% of people have a lifetime prevalence of illegal drug use (27% men and 14% women).
  • More younger people are involved in the misuse of drugs.
  • Older people and women more likely to use sedatives, tranquillizers and antidepressants.

 Alcohol Use

  • Alcohol Misuse poses third highest health risk after tobacco and hypertension. [WHO 2005]
  • Recommended guidelines 21 units per week for men and 14 units per week for women.
  • 27% of men and 17% of women drink more than weekly recommended limits. [Alcohol Concern 2004]
  • Men are twice as likely as women to drink more than recommended levels.
  • Proportion of women drinking more than recommended limits has increased 10% [1988] to 17% [2002].

 Cannabis use

  • Cannabis is the most frequently misused drug - 17 % of population.
  • An ongoing study [Mc Crystal, 2007 QUB ] has found 14 -15 year olds using cannabis daily.
  • 1 in 10 school children who had reported using cannabis at least once had now become daily users.
  • At 15 moved beyond experimental/recreational use to sustained use.
  • 1 in 6 of these users also reported abusing solvents, one third using ecstasy.

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