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Cocaine

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 29 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in each health and social services board area (HSSB) are known to be cocaine users; and what working estimate of the total number of cocaine users each HSSB has. (79976)

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) records information on problem drug users presenting to treatment services for the first time, or for the first time in six months or more. The number of people presenting to treatment services in 2004-05 (the latest year for which figures are available) where they reported cocaine (including crack cocaine) use, by health and social services board, is recorded as:

Health and social services board

Number

Eastern

138

Northern

56

Southern

53

Western

75

Northern Ireland1

369

1 Includes 47 people from Northern Ireland prisons who have reported using cocaine at some stage. Source: NI Drug Misuse Database.

The DHSSPS report entitled ‘2002-03 Drug Prevalence Survey: Cocaine Results’ reported lifetime prevalence figures for cocaine (those who reported that they had ever used cocaine, including crack cocaine) use in Northern Ireland. Lifetime Prevalence figures, for adults aged 15 to 64 years, for each of the four health and social services boards in Northern Ireland were reported as:

Health and social services board

Percentage of lifetime prevalence

Eastern

2.4

Northern

1.0

Southern

0.8

Western

1.6