Use of addiction treatment services by Irish youth: does place of residence matter?

Thumbnail Image
Murphy, Kevin D.
Byrne, Stephen
Sahm, Laura J.
Lambert, Sharon
McCarthy, Suzanne
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
James Cook University
Published Version
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Introduction: Substance abuse treatment centres for Irish rural youth have largely been overlooked in the scientific literature. This study examined data from a substance abuse treatment centre that treats both urban and rural attendees to investigate if there are differences in usage patterns between attendee groups. Methods: A cross-sectional study was done of 436 service-users attending a treatment centre: patient characteristics, treatment referral details and substance history of the attendees from urban and rural areas were compared. Descriptive analysis of the service user population was performed and recent substance use was investigated. Inferential tests examined for differences between urban and rural service-users. Results: The typical service-user was an Irish male aged between 16 and 17 years, who resided with his parents. A greater percentage of rural service-users were employed (33.3% vs 22.2%, p=0.015), while a significantly greater percentage of urban service-users were unemployed (10.3% vs 4.1%, p=0.015). A greater proportion of urban service-users had tried multiple substances in their lifetimes (73.7% vs 52.2%, p=0.001) and continued to use multiple substances regularly (49.3% vs 31.3%, p=0.003) compared with their rural counterparts.
Alcohol , Benzodiazepines , Inhalants , Ireland , Polysubstance use , Young people
Murphy, K. D., Byrne, S., Sahm, L. J., Lambert, S. and McCarthy, S. (2014) 'Use of addiction treatment services by Irish youth: does place of residence matter?', Rural and remote health, 14(3), 2735 (9 pp).
© KD Murphy, S Byrne, LJ Sahm, S Lambert, S McCarthy, 2014. A licence to publish this material has been given to James Cook University,