New research reveals increase in number of people seeking help for cocaine addiction

The number of people being treated for cocaine addiction has risen by 60 percent in three years.

Well over 1,100 people sought treatment in 2016, that's up from around 700 people in 2013.

The Health Research Board says the substance was the third most common after heroin and cannabis.

CEO of Merchant's Quay Ireland, Tony Geoghegan, says it's by far the most prevalent drug on the streets:

'Where we used to often see people openly injecting, you now see people smoking cocaine.

'Similarly the cohort of people using it reflects both ends of the market. There are street drug users using it, but it's also infiltrated into recreational drug use as well.'

A study by the HRB revealed opiates (mainly heroin) are the most commonly reported drug. 

Cannabis is the second most common drug among those treated, increasing from 23% (2,025 cases) in 2010 to 26% (2,439) of all cases in 2016.

Cocaine remains third most common drug reported.  In 2016, 12% (1,138) of cases reported problem cocaine use, the highest proportion reported since 2010 when they represented 10% (869) of all treated cases.

While the proportion of cases reporting benzodiazepines as a main problem drug more than doubled from 4% (365) in 2010, to 10% (897) of all cases in 2016.