Home > Community detox scheme goes national.

[Irish Medical Times] , Lynch, Priscilla Community detox scheme goes national. (27 Aug 2012)

External website: http://www.imt.ie/clinical/2012/08/community-detox...

The national community detoxification programme is a supported, structured outpatient detoxification process from benzodiazepines or methadone. It is for patients who are prescribed methadone or those who are taking prescribed or illicitly-sourced benzodiazepines and want support to reduce or cease their use of these substances, but can’t or don’t want to go into residential detox.

The Community Detoxification Protocols are a set of guidelines for doctors and key workers to support community-based outpatient detoxification from benzodiazepines or methadone. The protocols outline, under a four-stage structured model, minimum medical and psychosocial supports to be provided to a service user in order to ensure adequate and appropriate support during a community detox.

The protocols were originally developed by an inter-agency group in 2007, and over 2011 were reviewed and augmented by an expanded steering group, which included leaders in addiction services from the medical, community/voluntary and research fields.

Explaining the background to the protocols, Caroline Gardner, Manager at the Progression Routes initiative, which connects inter-agency service delivery in Irish drug and alcohol services with national policy, said they were established after the initiative heard that people on methadone were upset that they were being turned down by doctors when asking to detox.

“When exploring this situation with doctors, we found that doctors would say ‘no’ when they had limited information or supports for the person and felt that any other response was unsafe. This was the basis for the development of the protocols.”


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