ALMOST a third of students attending Limerick Institute of Technology have smoked cannabis in the last year a recently published survey has found.
1,000 questionnaires were distributed to students attending the Moylish campus as part of the survey, which was conducted by a number of academics who are attached to Limerick Institute of Technology, University of Limerick and University College Cork.
Just over three quarters of the students responded to the survey, details of which has been published in the Irish Medical Journal.
The study found that 33.2% of respondents admitted using cannabis during the previous 12 months and a fifth of those surveyed admitted using the drug on at least three occasions during the same time period.
While less than 1% of those surveyed said they had used heroin during the previous year, more than 12% said they had used ecstacy and 13% stated they had used cocaine.
Seven per cent of those surveyed, admitted using amphetamines and 7.1% said they had consumed magic mushrooms. The level of Polydrug use in the last 12 months was reported as being 17.8%. Polydrug refers to the use of a combination two or more psychoactive drugs at the same time.
According to the research team, the high rate of cannabis use noted in the research is a serious issue, “particularly as it is thought to be a risk factor for psychosis, schizophrenia and mental ill-health among those with a genetic predisposition”.
The authors stated the high use of other drugs is also a concern. “The rates of use of cocaine and ecstasy are a significant concern, particularly among males who reported significantly higher rates of ongoing usage,” states the study
A spokesperson for LIT told the Limerick Leader the institute would not be commenting on the findings of the published survey.