Stronger cannabis 'causing more problems' for adolescents

The increasing strength of cannabis is causing a major problem for young people in Ireland, according to the Dublin North Regional Drugs Task Force.

A new report shows a steady increase in young adults using MDMA and cannabis since 2011.

It also found that cocaine users in Ireland are not aware of how the strength of the drug is rapidly increasing.

Richie Stafford, one of the main organisers of a National Drug Education and Prevention Forum in Dublin today, said cannabis is the main problem for young people.

This is despite it being seen as a mild drug.

Mr Stafford said: "I think the increase in cannabis use is quite startling and what we have also seen is with the increase in use is an increase in presentations for treatment, especially in adolescent services.

"We have also seen, not so much in Ireland but across Europe, an increase in cannabis potency. They kind of go hand-in-hand.

"It's a stronger drug now because it's stronger, it's causing more problems, it's causing the most harm in terms of presentations for adolescents."

The report also shows problem cocaine-use has increased by nearly 100% in Ireland recently.

Mr Stafford said people are not aware of how much damage it does.

He said: "Cocaine use can detract along with the economy, it's a relatively expensive drug so its use dips during a recession and it seems to be going up since 2016.

"Also, what we are finding out through our colleagues in the organisation is that purity is increasing so it's a stronger drug that people are consuming and they might not be aware of the impact."

More on this topic

Gino Kenny: Leo disrespecting families looking for medicinal cannabis

20 patients granted use of medicinal cannabis under consultant supervision

No plans to legalise cannabis, says Health Minister

Justice Minister denies country is 'sleepwalking' into cannabis legalisation

More in this Section

New deputy Garda Commissioner to be appointed

Donohoe standing by promises for major tax cuts

Finance Minister 'has no credibility' says union as Donohoe calls for efforts to avoid strike action

Ana Kriegel Verdict: Boy A's defence team wanted jury to consider manslaughter


Lifestyle

Bake: Michelle Darmody's recipes for the perfect summer picnic

Why Doug and Monique Howlett are moving back home to New Zealand

Learner Dad: 'It’s not unusual for someone to go home in a different pants to the one they arrived in'

What’s the Occasion? What to wear on your next big day out

More From The Irish Examiner