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

No victims of human trafficking identified in review of cannabis growhouses, report finds

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

More in this Section

'We must not repeat the mistakes of a decade ago': Government urged to protect vulnerable citizens after Brexit

Northern Ireland civil rights leader Ivan Cooper dies

Varadkar on SwingGate: 'Not the norm of any party' to publish internal party inquiry results

Sudden thunderstorm causes flooding in Killarney


Lifestyle

Stereolab: The right band at the wrong time

Kaleidoscope: The festival that is Electric Picnic for families

The High Priestess of Punk on 40 years in showbusiness ahead of Irish gig

Orla O’Regan: ‘I treasure the way my life has turned out’

More From The Irish Examiner