Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 377 - National drugs strategy implementation [38123/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 377 - National drugs strategy implementation [38123/14]. (07 Oct 2014)

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Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the way in which he will address the fact that an increasing number of people are finding that methadone use is becoming a life-long dependency for them in addiction. [38123/14] 

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): A core objective of the National Drugs Strategy is to develop a national treatment and rehabilitation service that provides drug free and harm reduction approaches for problem substance users and to encourage problem substance users to engage with, and avail of, such services. In the area of treatment and rehabilitation, the focus is on providing opportunities for people to progress from drug dependence to a drug-free life where that is achievable. 

In recent years, the HSE has reoriented its services to develop a comprehensive service capable of dealing with all substances in order to respond to current patterns of drug misuse, in particular, the increased incidence of polydrug use. Considerable success has been achieved with a marked reduction in waiting times for access to addiction services particularly outside Dublin. More detoxification beds have been made available and opportunities to undergo detox in the community have been increased, and there are more places available in rehabilitation programmes generally. This work is being complemented by the refocusing of programmes to foster client progression facilitated by individual care plans and backed up by inter-agency working. Finally, there is greater provision of after-care to further assist recovering drug-users as they move towards a drug free lifestyle.

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