What is DAMIS?
DAMIS (Drug and Alcohol Monitoring and Information System) is an “early warning system” which government organisations use to find out about emerging trends in drug misuse, so we can act quickly and provide relevant information or advice to those who misuse drugs.
The kind of information DAMIS collects includes:
- A sudden increase in a particular drug being misused
- Drugs being misused in new ways
- New drugs becoming available (for example new legal highs)
- Contaminated drugs available in Northern Ireland
lead partners: the Department for Health and Social Services and Public Safety, the Department of Justice and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland-wide surveys are carried out periodically to find out what drugs people are using and how much alcohol they are drinking. This information helps organisations decide the priority actions required to reduce drug misuse or drug-related harm. However, these surveys are not designed to gather localised information on drugs being used by small numbers of people, or information on urgent issues such as contaminated drugs. This is what DAMIS is for. It can identify trends and issues at an early stage and warn people about them quickly.
The information which DAMIS receives usually comes from local drug and alcohol support organisations, or from people who misuse or have misused substances themselves. These people may have contact with a wide range of individuals who misuse substances and are in an ideal position to tell us what is happening in their local area as soon as it happens. While DAMIS can be used to alert people to emerging risks around alcohol as well as drugs, so far, all DAMIS alerts have focussed on drugs.
DAMIS is confidential – this means that when providing information you should not identify individuals or give any personal details although however general information such as where the drugs are being used, and the gender and age of users is useful as it can help inform whether any follow up information or advice should be targeted at particular sections of the population and/or region.
Anyone can send information to DAMIS by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org