The number of drug-related deaths that occurred in Northern Ireland grew exponentially to a total of 189 last year, which is the highest recorded level.
According to a report carried out by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency half of the deaths involved three or more drugs. There were two drugs that were heavily accounted for in these deaths, which were heroin and morphine. In total, these two drugs accounted for 40 deaths.
Among those most likely to be drug users are people living in deprived areas and men between the ages of 25-44. Within the last decade the number of males that have died from drug-related causes increased by a staggering 98%. This is an indication of how bad the problem of young males taking drugs is. As males accounted for 101 of 136 drug-related deaths in 2017, which is 74%. On the other hand, female drug-related deaths remained unchanged over the last decade.
Among drug deaths in Northern Ireland, the unusual trend is that most of the deaths are often due to the misuse of prescription medicines, instead of the common assumption that drug-related deaths are a result of illicit drugs such as heroin, cocaine and ecstasy.
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