Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 292 - Prison drug treatment services [32279/17].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 292 - Prison drug treatment services [32279/17]. (11 Jul 2017)

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292. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the therapeutic services and treatment programmes that are available for prisoners with addiction issues; the waiting lists for referrals to such services and treatments; and the number of drug free wings in prisons here. [32279/17]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have been advised by the Irish Prison Service that any prisoner who enters the custody of the Irish Prison Services while presenting with addiction issues has access to addiction services, and is actively encouraged to engage with those services.


The treatments available are based on the principles of best practice, and are similar to those available in the community setting. This includes access to harm reduction methods, detoxification, stabilisation, and opiate replacement therapies. These interventions are based on a multi-professional approach to ensure that the prisoners motivation, commitment and likelihood of success are always at the centre of planned care.


The Irish Prison Service has advised that the healthcare team which delivers these treatments includes, inter alia, GP Specialist Addiction services, Consultant Addiction psychiatrist, specialist addiction nurses, addiction counsellors, addiction links workers, pharmacists, primary care GP's, and prison nurses.


The Irish Prison Service also works very closely with the Probation Service, community, voluntary, and statutory agencies to maintain a pathway of care ensuring supports remain in place for prisoners on their release from custody.


All prisoners have access to group and individual counselling services where they can address their own personal requirements, and specific support arrangements can be put in place and implemented during the prisoners period in custody. The person in custody can also benefit from peer support groups, music therapy, and a 9 week psycho-social based programme similar to community residential treatment services, which assists the person in remaining drug free.

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