The number of people treated in hospital for drug or alcohol addiction disorders increased by nearly 10 per cent last year.
More than 1,000 people had inpatient stays in 2017 or 2018.
According to details released under the Freedom of Information Act, 543 people had a main diagnosis of a drug addiction when they were discharged from an Irish hospital in 2018, compared to 498 the year before.
The figures relate to inpatient or day cases, so don't include emergency department admissions.
There was a 19 per cent increase in the number treated for alcohol dependence syndrome, or behaviour associated with it.
Last year, 438 people were treated for this reason, while the remainder were for other drug-addiction issues.
GP Hugh O'Donnell, a member of the Irish Medical Organisation, says there needs to be more awareness of the dangers of illicit substances.
Of the 543 people treated last year, 351 were men and 192 were women.