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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written Answers 399 & 400 - National Drugs Strategy implementation [43139/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written Answers 399 & 400 - National Drugs Strategy implementation [43139/14]. (11 Nov 2014)

URL: http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20a...


399. Deputy Thomas P. Broughanasked the Minister for Health if the stated aim of developing a national integrated treatment and rehabilitation service that provides drug-free and harm-reduction approaches for problem substance users as identified in the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016 has been achieved; the way an integrated service model within the Health Service Executive for treatment and rehabilitation may be created with the support of his Department. [43139/14]

400. Deputy Thomas P. Broughanasked the Minister for Health if the target of increasing residential rehabilitation places by 25% in 2012 compared with 2008 levels as contained in the National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016 was reached; and the total number of residential rehabilitation places available on an annual basis since 2008 for citizens with significant drug addiction problems. [43140/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): I propose to take Questions Nos. 399 and 400 together.

The HSE is the lead agency with responsibility for the development of a national integrated treatment and rehabilitation service in line with Action 32 of the National Drugs Strategy. Over the course of the current Strategy, the focus of the national addiction services has been broadened to provide a comprehensive substance treatment service capable of dealing with all substances. Opiate treatment services are now widely available outside the greater Dublin area and overall waiting times for opioid substitution treatment have been reduced. More generally, there have been improvements in access to substance misuse treatment. The latest figures available from the HSE at the end of September 2014 indicate that 97% of substance misusers over 18 years accessed treatment within one calendar month of assessment and 97% of those under 18 accessed treatment within 1 week. In addition, through the Pharmacy Needle Exchange Programme, accessible harm reduction services have been expanded outside Dublin and 130 community pharmacies have been recruited and trained to provide needle exchange services.

A National Drugs Rehabilitation Implementation Committee (NDRIC), chaired by the HSE and including representation from relevant Government departments and agencies and the community and voluntary sectors, is overseeing the roll out of a national integrated model of care. This model is based on an interagency approach to the delivery of rehabilitation and shared care planning to ensure that service users access the range of supports required to assist them in their recovery. This model has been piloted in 10 sites across the country and following evaluation is being rolled out nationally.

The Report of the HSE Working Group on Residential Treatment & Rehabilitation (Substance Misuse) published in 2007, provided a detailed analysis and overview of known residential treatment services at the time and advised on the future residential requirements of those affected by drug and alcohol use. The report indicated that current provision was 672.5 beds comprising 38 residential detoxification beds and 634.5 residential rehabilitation beds. The most recent figures available from the HSE indicate that there are now 804 residential beds, comprising 23 inpatient unit detoxification beds, 117 community-based residential detoxification beds, 4 adolescent residential detoxification beds, 642 residential rehabilitation beds and 18 adolescent residential rehabilitation beds. This represents a substantial increase of almost 20% on the 2007 figure.

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