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[Irish Medical Times] , Connors, Aoife The uphill battle against addiction. (24 May 2011)

External website: http://www.imt.ie/features-opinion/2011/05/the-uph...

In the first part of a major two-part investigation into Ireland’s opioid treatment services, Aoife Connors analyses the recommendations of the review of the Methadone Treatment Protocol.

The range and scale of problems outside Dublin makes the development of drug treatment services in other areas an urgent priority, according to Prof Michael Farrell, Professor of Addiction Psychiatry at King’s College London, whose comments were made in a review of the Opioid Treatment Protocol, published last December.

Prof Farrell said a “service model” was needed outside of Dublin that had a clear focus on “rural aspects of service delivery”.

“There is a need for a type of hub and spoke model that has centres of expertise but is designed to enable a much broader geographic coverage through a range of innovative service developments.”

The HSE commissioned Prof Farrell to conduct this first review of the Methadone Treatment Protocol (MTP) in Ireland, with the assistance of Prof Joe Barry, Professor of Population Health Medicine at Trinity College Dublin. Article 35 of the government’s National Drugs Strategy 2009-2018 required that such a review of the MTP be carried out.


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