Home > 8. Mr. O'Shea asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the proposals he has to have a methadone maintenance programme introduced in Cork Prison; if, in regard to prisoners with addiction who are on a prescribed sedative before being sent to Cork Prison, he will outline the proposals he has to ensure that this treatment continues in prison. [6844/07]

[Oireachtas] 8. Mr. O'Shea asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the proposals he has to have a methadone maintenance programme introduced in Cork Prison; if, in regard to prisoners with addiction who are on a prescribed sedative before being sent to Cork Prison, he will outline the proposals he has to ensure that this treatment continues in prison. [6844/07]. (22 Feb 2007)

URL: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2007/02/22/00030...


Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): The new Irish Prison Service Drugs Policy & Strategy — ‘Keeping Drugs Out of Prisons’ — will see existing drug treatment programmes, including the provision of methadone maintenance programmes where clinically indicated, being expanded and enhanced. This policy envisages a multifaceted approach towards tackling the problems associated with substance misuse in the prison environment. There is particular focus on the need to assist prisoners who indicate a serious desire to tackle their drug problem and the policy states that appropriate treatment for substance misuse related problems should be available regardless of where a prisoner is located. I have obtained significant extra resources to facilitate this and the policy is in the process of being rolled out on a phased basis. While it is intended that any treatment which is clinically indicated as being appropriate and necessary should be available to prisoners this provision will require the coordinated input and co-operation of various agencies, both internal and external. In particular it will require the co-operation of relevant community agencies to ensure the continuity of such treatment on release. I have not been made aware to date, of any significant demand for the provision of methadone maintenance to prisoners entering Cork Prison. This matter is, however, being kept under ongoing review. The prescription of any medication, including sedative medication, requires careful assessment. This is particularly the case given the potential for abuse associated with many sedative drugs. The Department of Health & Children recommends caution and limited prescription of such drugs and the IPS would seek to reflect such caution in the health standards promoted within prison. Vol. 632 No. 2 Thursday, 22 February 2007

Item Type:Dail Debates
Source:Oireachtas
Date:22 February 2007
EndNote:View
Subjects:J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care programme or facility > Prison-based health service
MM-MO Crime and law > Justice system > Correctional system and facility > Prison
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland > Cork
HJ Treatment method > Substance disorder treatment method > Substance replacement method (substitution) > Methadone maintenance
T Demographic characteristics > Prison Inmate (prisoner)

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