Skip Page Header

Home > 253. Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of prisons that are currently operating a methadone maintenance programme. [5456/10]

[Oireachtas] 253. Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of prisons that are currently operating a methadone maintenance programme. [5456/10]. (03 Feb 2010)

External website: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2010/02/03/00152...


253. Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of prisons that are currently operating a methadone maintenance programme; the number of prisoners that are accessing this programme; the cost of this programme each year; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): The Irish Prison Service continues to work to implement its Drugs Policy & Strategy, entitled Keeping Drugs Out of Prison, which was launched in May 2006. Working to fulfil the commitments contained in the Policy and Strategy involves the implementation of stringent measures to prevent drugs from getting into prisons while, at the same time, continuing to invest in services within prisons to reduce the demand for illicit drugs in the prisoner population as well as meeting prisoners’ treatment and rehabilitative needs. At present, any person entering prison giving a history of opiate use and testing positive for opioids is offered a medically assisted symptomatic detoxification if clinically indicated. Patients can, as part of the assessment process, discuss with healthcare staff other treatment options. These may include stabilization on methadone maintenance for persons who wish to continue on maintenance while in prison and when they return to the community on release. Prisoners who on committal are engaged in a methadone substitution programme in the community will in the main have their methadone substitution treatment continued while in custody. Methadone substitution treatment is available in 8 of the 14 prisons (accommodating over 80% of the prison population). 2,014 prisoners were in receipt of methadone maintenance treatment during 2008 (see table below). In 2009, provisional figures indicate 2,424 prisoners were in receipt of methadone substitution treatment, a 20% increase on the 2008 figures. A breakdown by prison for 2009 is currently being compiled and will be forwarded to the Deputy.
 
Staffing costs represent the bulk of all drug treatment funding, and as such it is not possible to apportion the actual cost of providing methadone substitution treatment. However, expenditure on drug treatment, excluding indirect staff and ancillary costs was approximately €2.5m in 2008.
 
Table 1: Methadone Treatment Per Prison
Prison
Number of Prisoners Treated in 2008
Cloverhill
827
Dochas
245
Limerick
37
Midlands
110
Mountjoy
553
Portlaoise
4
St Patrick’s
28
Wheatfield
210
TOTAL
2,014
 
Vol. 701 No. 1  
Written Answers – Prison Drug Treatment Service
Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Repository Staff Only: item control page