900+ children in Ireland hospitalised with drug or alcohol illness last year

Irish hospitals treated 914 children for physical and mental illnesses related to drugs or alcohol last year, with a clear majority of those affected being girls.

Conditions found include mental health issues caused by drug abuse, alcohol poisoning, and children experiencing health problems due to their mother’s use of drugs or alcohol while in the womb.

Of the 914 children in total affected, 228 were under 9 years of age. 686 were between the ages of 10 and 17, and according to Freedom of Information figures reported by Newstalk, two thirds of the total children affected were girls.

THe 914 figure is a decrease from the year prior in 2019, which saw 1,026 such cases.

Earlier in the year, it was reported that a growing number of Irish children are being hospitalised after being poisoned by cannabis jellies, also known as “edibles.”

Notably, in May of 2021 two boys aged three and four were admitted to Temple Street hospital after ingesting jellies that could have contained THC.

While figures specifically for edibles are not recorded, seizures of cannabis products more than doubled in the year between 2019 and 2020, going from 515kg seized (€10 million worth) to 1.439kg (€28.6 million).

Moreover, The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) recently warned of what they call a “sinister attempt to sell narcotics in the form of sweets.”

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