New figures | 

Shocking rise in number of people seeking help for heroin addiction in Dublin

Almost 2,500 people in the north Dublin region got opioid substitution prescriptions last year

File photo© Getty Images

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

A Dublin GP who specialises in addiction has said heroin can be lethal, as new figures show how more than 1,400 more people using the drug were treated last year than five years earlier.

Describing heroin as “very dangerous,” Dr Garrett McGovern told Newstalk that a lot of the dangers posed by the drug are due to the fact that it’s illicit.

“We’ve had many deaths over the years that haven’t actually been due to the drug but due to what it’s cut with - in other words, what it’s mixed with,” he said.

“And also, people will use it along with other CNS (Central Nervous System) depressants - such as alcohol.”

Dr McGovern was speaking as it was revealed that more 1,400 more people were treated for heroin addiction last year than five years earlier.

In 2017, over 8,000 people received opioid-substitution prescriptions, under the medical card scheme.

By 2021, that figure had increased to 8,845.

Last year, according to Freedom of Information figures, it rose by over 600 to 9,484 by the end of November; almost one third of those treated were women and the remaining two thirds were men.

Almost 2,500 people in the north Dublin region got opioid substitution prescriptions last year.

Dr McGovern says heroin problems continue to be most common in marginalised communities.


Today's Headlines

More Irish News

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos