Heroin is the cause of more hospital admissions than any other drug

The use of legal highs is also on the rise

Hospital trolley, ward, INMO, trolley watch, University Hospital Limerick

File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

More people are admitted to hospital for taking heroin than any other drug according to a new study.

The EU Drugs agency E-M-C-D-D-A has been looking at the substances most people are taking when they're admitted to emergency departments.

It also found also found that the use of legal highs and research chemicals grew over the period examined.

G.P. Garrett McGovern GP specialises in alcohol and substance abuse - he's calling for the medicalisation of heroin to help protect addicts: "We haven't gotten regulation of alcohol right, and we probably haven't got regulation of tobacco right, but I think if you made those drugs illegal tomorrow we'd see a lot more deaths associated with them."

"So we've decided with the list of drugs, that you can forage around for yourself, and whatever happens happens. And even giving advice is almost frowned upon, it's almost seen as enabling."