But in recent years it has also seen a rise in poly-drug
use -- largely benzodiazepines on top of heroin/methadone -- making it harder to implement effective harm reduction policies.
"Most drug-related deaths happen through poly-drug
use, and typically affect people who have been using drugs for a prolonged period of time," added a police spokesperson.
'Of the 44 deaths on record involving Kratom, they all involve poly-drug
use,' said Ryan Leung, a spokesman from kratom lobby group Botanical Education Alliance (BEA).
A majority of the students (78.6%) were poly-drug
She added that poly-drug
use - using different drugs simultaneously - significantly increases the risk of a fatal overdose.
It is part of a growing "poly-drug
" problem - where addicts take a cocktail of illegal drugs, leaving them at increased risk of overdose.
In fact, with the modern composition of substances, there are some that in themselves can be considered a "poly-drug
consumption", as they are able to influence different neuronal receptors and present different effects.
According to government statistics, while the number of regular drug users has not fluctuated much in recent years, poly-drug
use has increased and presents a challenge for traditional methods of treatment.
Findings show that the major areas of research focus are (in rank order): alcohol-enhanced EDs, cognitive effects, motivation for use, prevalence data, psychotic symptomology, public health policy, educational interventions, poly-drug
sequelae, and 'masculine' persona.
Wish and colleagues (2006), in a survey of college students, found that nine percent reported lifetime ecstasy use, and poly-drug
use was very common with ecstasy.
The report, which was launched yesterday by Social Protection Minister Joan Burton, also revealed that as in previous years poly-drug
use remains a prevalent trend with 75% of Needle Exchange users reporting use.