Nearly 1,100 children were hospitalised with drug and alcohol-related issues last year.
According to freedom of information figures released to Newstalk, 79% of them were girls.
The figures show the number of people who were treated in hospital for drug and alcohol-related problems, like intoxication and drug-poisoning.
They do not include attendances at emergency departments.
Dr Garrett McGovern, a GP specialising in addiction medicine, told Newstalk that some cases can be fatal.
“If someone is admitted to hospital with an overdose, it depends on the severity of the overdose,” he said. “I mean some people don’t come out of an overdose.
“It is, unfortunately, the respiratory depression and the time the ambulance takes to get to them to provide emergency care.
“It can be too late and unfortunately there is usually a lack of oxygen for a time and they don’t make it.”
In all, 4,245 were hospitalised with drug and alcohol issues last year and one-quarter were children.
The 1,070 children who were treated in hospital is an increase on the 914 treated the year before.
Meanwhile, 733 young adults, aged between 18 and 25, were also hospitalised.
Emergency Medicine Consultant Dr Mick Molloy said it can be very difficult to treat intoxicated patients.
“The patient isn’t always fully aware of what is going on with them themselves and not always making the most rational decisions,” he said.
“Some people choosing to discharge themselves early or not willing to have the particular treatment concluded for their relevant condition.”
He said doctors did notice a drop in alcohol-related presentations during the pandemic.
“With the pub closures and less socialising out on the street at night, there were certainly less traumatic presentation to emergency departments and less presentations related to alcohol as a whole,” he said.
“I don’t believe the problem has gone away. I just think people weren’t presenting to hospital in the same frequency they might have done in pre-COVID times.”
The figures relate to inpatient and day-case admissions only.