Home > HSE outlines plans for drug-related services in 2007.

Pike, Brigid (2007) HSE outlines plans for drug-related services in 2007. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 22, Summer 2007, pp. 5-7.

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Approved in February 2007 by Mary Harney TD, Minister for Health and Children, the National Service Plan 2007 (NSP) of the Health Service Executive (HSE) outlines the HSE’s plans in the drugs area during 2007.1 It states that work will begin on scoping the transition of the management of alcohol services from mental health to social inclusion services, and that a review of how drug and alcohol services can have a better fit with the unitary structure of the HSE will be completed.

The HSE’s drug-related services are provided primarily through Social Inclusion Services, which is part of the Primary, Community and Continuing Care (PCCC) directorate of the HSE. Table 1 summarises the HSE’s Social Inclusion outputs in respect of drugs and HIV services for 2006 and the deliverables against which the HSE will be assessing its performance in 2007. Table 2 outlines how the €6 million allocated in the government’s 2007 budget to implement the HSE-related elements of the National Drugs Strategy will be spent.

 The NSP also records that during 2007 the Population Health Directorate of the HSE will complete further iterations of the SLAN (Survey of Lifestyle, Attitudes and Nutrition) and ESPAD (European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs), continue to work on health promotion campaigns in relation to, among other things, alcohol and tobacco, and continue to implement the Action Plan on Alcohol.   

Table 1   Drugs and HIV services – outputs and deliverables for 2007 (after HSE NSP 2007: 38–39)
Output 2006
Deliverable 2007
Expand the Tier 3 teams.
Additional funding was provided for Specialist Adolescent Addiction Teams.
Continued provision of existing levels of service
Enhance treatment services with a particular focus on under-18s.
New protocols and a policy on treatment of under-18s were disseminated and promoted nationally. National Training Workshops were provided for frontline staff on the treatment of under-18s with serious drug problems.
Substance misusers to have immediate access to professional assessment, and treatment as deemed appropriate not later than one month after assessment. The extent of substance misuse in the under-18-year group needs monitoring.
Indicator (AD3, AD4):
• Percentage of adults (new clients) commencing treatment within one month – 60% (heroin) 95% (all other substances).
• Percentage of under-18s (new clients) commencing treatment within one month – 65% approx.
Increase the provision of training to staff on appropriate interventions for under-18s.
Implement the protocols and the new policy nationally in line with available resources.
Work towards improved performance in these areas.
Enhance treatment services to cocaine and polydrug users.
Information on the trends and prevalence of cocaine use was disseminated.
A workshop was provided on appropriate treatment interventions to address cocaine use.
Develop a model for the management of cocaine abuse and deliver appropriate training to HSE staff.
Combat substance misuse through a concerted focus on supply reduction, prevention, treatment and research.
Develop a comprehensive action plan for the delivery of rehabilitation services in line with the National Drug Strategy review and the outcome of the Rehabilitation Working Group.
Monitor the prescribing of benzodiazepines.
Focus on reducing alcohol-related harm, including implementation of the
recommendations of the Working Group on Alcohol and taking account of the
recommendations of the Strategic Task Force on Alcohol.
Work on the Alcohol Aware pilot with the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) commenced in 2006.
Implement relevant recommendations from the
Strategic Task Force on Alcohol, within available resources.
Work with Emergency Department (ED) and Primary Care Services on the early detection and screening of people with problematic and dependent alcohol use.
Complete review of current mental-health-based alcohol services with a view to improved integration.
Number of clients in methadone treatment
Average of 6,800 per month
6,800 (average per month)
Number of methadone treatment places used during the period
Average of 6, 800 per month
6,800 (average per month)


Table 2   Investment funding in Social Inclusion services for 2007 to implement health-related aspects of the National Drugs Strategy (after HSE NSP 2007: 103–104)
Human resource
implications estimated
Deliverable 07
Addressing health-related aspects of the National Drugs Strategy through:
€6m (B)
Continued implementation of the report on treatment services for under-18s presenting with serious drug problems,
including the enhancement of consultant-led multidisciplinary teams
Completion of teams in Dublin North East
Enhancement of teams in Dublin-Mid Leinster
Establishment of team in HSE South (Cork)
Establishment of team in HSE West (Limerick)
Expansion of harm reduction services, including needle exchange, to counter the incidence of HIV and hepatitis C among intravenous drug users
Continuation and expansion of programme that commenced in 2006.
Reorientation and expansion of treatment services and the upskilling of HSE staff to address changing patterns of polydrug use
Cocaine and polydrug use programme established, national coordinator in place.
Two pilot sites identified and established.
Detox facilities programme
Support for the establishment of residential detox programmes throughout the country. Initial places and sites identified in 2007.
A specific initiative for homeless persons
Employment of eight counsellors to support addiction services targeted at homeless communities throughout the country.

1.  Health Service Executive (2007) National Service Plan 2007. Available at www.hse.ie  


Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Issue Title
Issue 22, Summer 2007
April 2007
Page Range
pp. 5-7
Health Research Board
Issue 22, Summer 2007
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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