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National Drug-Related Deaths Index 2004 to 2015 data


Health Research Board (HRB)

Subject Keywords: Drugs, Death, Premature Death, Injectors, Poisoning
Catalogue: Research and Evaluation
Region: Republic of Ireland

The report, infographic and data tables are available for your information.

Key findings – all deaths 2015

  • There were 695 deaths in 2015, slightly lower than the number reported in 2014 (719).
  • Many of these deaths were premature – half of all deaths in 2015 were aged 41 years or younger.
  • 20,000 potential life years were lost* because of drug-related deaths.
  • Almost three-in-four (503) of all deaths were male.
  • A total of 8% (54) of all NDRDI deaths were among injectors and 52% (28) of injectors died in Dublin City.
  • 348 deaths occurred as a result of poisoning; 347 deaths occurred as a result of non-poisoning.


Non-poisoning deaths in 2105

  • 347 non-poisoning deaths.
  • 1 in 4 deaths were due to hanging
  • 3 in 5 deaths due to hanging had a history of mental health problems


Poisoning deaths in 2015

  • 348 deaths occurred as a result of poisoning
  • 2 out of 3 deaths involved polydrugs with and average of 4 different drugs involved
  • Alcohol was implicated in 31% of poisoning deaths
  • Prescription drugs were implicated in 2 out of 3 poisoning deaths
  • 110% increase in cocaine-related deaths since 2010 (from 21 deaths in 2010 to 44 deaths in 2015)


According to Dr Mairead O Driscoll, Interim Chief Executive at the HRB, ‘The number of deaths involving prescription drugs or cocktails of different drugs remains high. Mixing drugs increases the risk of death, which is clearly reflected in these figures. This year we continue to see an increase in the number of poisonings from cocaine’. ‘While the number of deaths from alcohol decreased slightly this year, alcohol remains the number one drug implicated in deaths, alone or with other drugs, over the reporting period. Alcohol was implicated in almost one-in-three poisoning deaths during 2015’.



Rights: © Public
Suggested citation:

Health Research Board (HRB). (2017) National Drug-Related Deaths Index 2004 to 2015 data [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 17th July 2018].


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