Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 167 - Drug treatment programmes [56062/12] [Methadone].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 167 - Drug treatment programmes [56062/12] [Methadone]. (13 Dec 2012)

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167. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Health his views on methadone clinics (details supplied). [56062/12] 

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): The HSE provides opioid substitution (mainly methadone) in a number of treatment settings to meet the needs of individual drug users. These settings include:

  • primary care through GPs and community pharmacies;
  • satellite clinics that facilitate opioid substitution provision through community pharmacies;
  • treatment centres where opioid substitution treatment is dispensed on site; and
  • residential rehabilitation facilities. 
The HSE recognises that drug treatment is best provided at the lowest level of complexity, matching the patient's needs and as close to the patient's home as possible. There are currently 52 clinics within the four Dublin Local Authority Areas of which only 6 are based in the city centre. The city centre clinics cater for 1,082 people which is less than a quarter of the overall Dublin figure. 85% of those availing of services in the Dublin city centre clinics are from the local area.
The HSE has reviewed waiting lists for opioid substitution treatment over the past few years with a view to maximising the utilisation of existing services and developing new services where required. I support the provision of services in local communities but some concentration of services in Dublin city centre is needed in view of the number of clients from these areas, the fact that some people wish to avail of services outside their local area and the need to provide services for some people who have more complex needs. This approach is in line with that in many EU countries.
HSE clinics, as well as a number of voluntary service providers, have "good neighbour" policies and protocols in place and a strong focus on inter-agency working. Some provide a range of outreach and drop-in services to encourage engagement with a view to moving more people into treatment. C.C.TV is used at some centres to monitor movements and as an aid towards deterring anti-social behaviour. Drug treatment centres also work closely with An Garda Síochána with the aim of minimising any potential problems.
Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 786 No. 3
Thursday, 13 December 2012

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