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Home > Pieces of the jigsaw: six reports addressing homelessness and drug use in Ireland.

Merchants Quay Ireland. (2003) Pieces of the jigsaw: six reports addressing homelessness and drug use in Ireland. Dublin: Merchants Quay Ireland .

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PDF (Private lives - public issues)
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PDF (Engaging the hard to reach)
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PDF (Managing Urban Tansions)
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PDF (Food for thought)
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PDF (Maintaining or enabling? An evaluation of a methadone prescribing service in Dublin City)
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PDF (A step in the right direction)
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This book by Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI) covers topics on homelessness and drug use services under a number of distinct areas such as methadone maintenance, women's health, food service provision, information services, outreach programme and anti-social behaviour. One of the chapters details the provision of health services, the health care needs and the health status of female drug users in Dublin. In this study 65% of clients reported positive for hepatitis C, 82% reported depression, 88% started their injecting careers before the age of 25. 76% were polydrug users and of those who were sexually active only 30% reported using contraception. Reporting on methadone maintenance it was shown that both licit and illicit drug use decreased for clients on methadone and that criminal activities were reduced but that sexual risk behaviour increased. The report recommends alternates to oral methadone for maintenance, including injectable methadone and heroin. An evaluation of the outreach services conducted by MQI shows that 262 clients were contacted in 10 months and during that period 2,741 needles were disposed of. Lack of treatment places, long waiting lists and an absence of aftercare services were noted as being barriers to positive behavioural change among clients.


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