Ireland: Rising Numbers of Addiction Treatment
The number of people treated in hospital for alcohol or other drug use disorders increased by nearly 10% in Ireland in 2018.
According to details released under the Freedom of Information Act, 543 people had one of these illnesses as a main diagnosis when they were discharged from an Irish hospital in 2018, compared to 498 the year before. The figures exclude emergency department admissions and only capture inpatient or day cases in hospitals.
Some 438 of the admissions were for alcohol dependence syndrome – an increase of 19%.
The increase in alcohol-related harm, like alcohol dependence, shows the urgency of the Public Helath (Alcohol) Bill and underlines why it is so important to implement the entire policy, including alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing and other evidence-based measures, as soon as possible, to mitigate, reduce and prevent alcohol harm across Ireland.
The Public Health (Alcohol) Act was adopted in October 2018 with a timeline outlining when different sections would commence over the coming few years.
Minimum unit pricing is a floor price below which alcohol can’t be sold. It is a section of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 that has not yet been commenced.
The Act states that the cheapest price for a gram of alcohol is 10 cent. A standard alcohol drink has 10 grams of alcohol in it, meaning the lowest price for one standard drink is now €1.