Alcohol consumption responsible in almost half of poisoning deaths

From Medical Independent

Alcohol poisoning accounted for almost half of poisoning deaths in the counties of Cavan, Louth, Meath and Monaghan between 2005 and 2009.

A total of 122 poisoning deaths were recorded in these regions by the Irish National Drug-Related Death’s Index (NDRDI) during the five-year period, with alcohol implicated in 57 deaths (47 per cent).

Three-quarters of alcohol-related poisoning deaths were due to alcohol poisoning alone. Methadone was implicated in six deaths or 5 per cent of overall poisoning deaths.

Drugs such as heroin, cocaine and diazepam were frequently implicated along with methadone. Only one poisoning death during the period involved other drugs or substances.

The figures from the NDRDI, an epidemiological database maintained by the HRB which records causes of death by drug and alcohol poisoning and deaths among drug users and those who are alcohol dependent, were released during a recent meeting of the HSE Regional Health Forum for Dublin North East.

The figures were provided in response to a request by Fine Gael Councillor Kieran Dennison asking “the number of deaths in the region associated with methadone consumption over the last five years”.

Figures for the HSE DublinNorth Area were not released as they are “still being collated by the addiction services”, but will be available soon, the Forum heard.