Ecstasy and cannabis use is rising sharply in many parts of the country, particularly among young people, regional figures from a national drugs survey show.
Separate data from the Revenue Commissioners indicate a rise in alcohol consumption with increases of between 4% and 9% in excise duty paid on alcohol in 2016.
The National Drug Prevalence Study shows that current use of cannabis and ecstasy has doubled, or more, among young people in six out of the 10 regions.
The survey also highlights significant increases in the use of anti-depressants in many regions, noticeably among females.
The study detected a significant drop in all regions in the use of new psychoactive substances.
In half of the regions, around one in 10 young people aged 15 to 34 are currently using cannabis (within the last month).
Details from the prevalence study, conducted in 2014/2015 by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol, show:
A number of other regions recorded either slight increases, stable use or decreases (such as mid-west).
Separate Revenue figures for 2016 on ‘clearance’ data — quantities of alcohol on which excise duty is paid — found that levels of spirits rose 8.9%, cider by 8.6%, wine by 6.2%, and beer by 3.7%.
Analysing the data, Alcohol Action Ireland said this translated to a 4.8% rise in per capital alcohol consumption last year.
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