Price of heroin in Ireland second highest in Europe

UN data shows street price of heroin in Ireland in 2017 was €136 per gram

The price of buying heroin on the streets in Ireland is one of the highest in Europe with a gram of the drug costing nearly three times more than the average European price, the UN has found.

Data released by the UN office on drugs and crime shows the street retail price of heroin in Ireland was the second highest in Europe in 2017 costing $155 (€136) per gram. It follows Finland where a gram costs $168 (€147) with Denmark coming in third place where a gram costs $106 (€93).

The average European cost of a weighted heroin gram on the streets was $55 (€48) while Greece had the cheapest product on sale at $24 (€21) per gram.

Data from previous years shows the street price of heroin in Ireland has remained among the highest in Europe. The cost peaked in 2008 when a gram on Irish streets reportedly cost $294 (€259) before dropping to $209 (€184) the following year. The cost of street heroin in Ireland has ranged around $155 (€136) since 2015, according to the UN study.


The wholesale price of heroin in Ireland per kilogram, which was $44,297 (€38,959) in 2017, was also one of the most expensive in Europe, coming in third place after Finland ($53,346) and Denmark ($45,263). The average European weighted wholesale price of a kilogram of heroin was $29,535 (€25,976) in 2017.

The street price of cocaine in Ireland was much closer to the European average of $82 (€72) with a gram of cocaine costing $78 (€69) on Irish streets in 2017. The Irish street cost of cocaine has dropped since 2008 when it peaked at $103 (€91). The most expensive country to buy cocaine in western and central Europe in 2017 was Finland followed by Luxembourg and Sweden. The cheapest street price for cocaine was in Portugal where a gram cost $50 (€43). The average street cost of a gram of cocaine across Europe was $82 (€72).

The wholesale price of a kilogram of cocaine in Ireland was the fourth cheapest in Europe at $33,223 (€29,215), following Portugal ($27,643), Denmark ($29,740) and Belgium ($32,155). The average weighted wholesale cost of a kilogram of cocaine in 2017 for all of western and central Europe was $41,731 (€36,696). European wholesale prices have dropped by nearly $14,000 since 2013 when the average price of a kilogram of cocaine hit $58,012 (€51,020).

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast