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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 73 - Medicinal products data. [41001/17] [Methadone].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 73 - Medicinal products data. [41001/17] [Methadone]. (28 Sep 2017)

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73. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the number of persons being prescribed methadone in 2017; the number that have been prescribed methadone for more than ten years; and if, since the introduction of methadone in 1971, longitudinal research has been carried out to examine its effectiveness [41001/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): Methadone maintenance treatment is a critical stabilising treatment that enables people involved to counter their problem drug use and to rebuild their lives. In conjunction with other services and supports such as counselling, after-care and training, methadone maintenance treatment provides a pathway to recovery for the individual affected by problem substance use.

In their 2014 annual report, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction note that in Europe an estimated 734,000 opioid users received substitution treatment in 2012 with methadone being the most commonly prescribed substitution medication, received by up to two-thirds of substitution clients, while buprenorphine is prescribed to most of the remaining clients (about 20 %). Methadone is the principal substitution medication in six countries within the EU, including in Ireland.

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

[See pdf above for HSE response]

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