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  • Merchant’s Quay report says homelessness and drugs use on the increase

    Posted on September 6th, 2013 TimB No comments

    Merchant’s Quay Ireland provided more than 76,500 meals last year while its primary healthcare service for homeless people made 3,316 client interventions. The annual report for 2012 of the homeless food service will be launched today by Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton.

    It discloses that Merchant’s Quay Ireland’s needle-exchange service in Dublin recorded 20,847 client visits in 2012, up almost 2,000 on 2011.

    Altogether, 3,634 individuals accessed its needle-exchange programme in 2012, of which 558 were new users.

    Outside Dublin, its Midlands Harm Reduction Outreach Service worked with an average 130 clients a month in 2012, providing over 3,000 needle exchange interventions. Across its residential facilities, there was an increase in the number of people from outside Dublin accessing its services.

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  • Three out of four heroin addicts ‘also hooked on other drugs’

    Posted on May 28th, 2013 TimB No comments

    Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI) revealed half of the users at its needle exchange programme injected heroin six times or more times in one week.

    The addiction and homeless charity also found 75% of users took other drugs including the prescribed detox substitute methadone, benzodiazepine tranquilisers, cannabis, alcohol, steroids and cocaine.

    Tony Geoghegan, MQI chief executive, said most detoxification centres are aimed at people who use only a single substance such as heroin.

    “The report confirms people are still using heroin, but polydrug use is now the dominant trend,” he said.

    “This means detox services in Ireland have to match the need. In Ireland there are currently no detox options for this group.”

    There are an estimated 20,000 heroin addicts in Ireland, with 10,000 men and women on a methadone programme and just 38 detox beds nationwide for treatment.

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  • Merchants Quay Ireland Heroin use a ‘national crisis’ – drugs group

    Posted on September 29th, 2009 TimB No comments

    Heroin use is now a national crisis, according to a group that provides assistance to drug users and the homeless.

    Read the Merchants Quay report

    Every week last year Merchants Quay Ireland accepted 20 new heroin users onto its needle exchange programme.

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  • Heroin addicts waiting up to two years for treatment

    Posted on May 5th, 2009 TimB 1 comment

    In an article in the Irish Times Tony  Geoghegan from Merchants Quay Ireland highlighted the  length  people have to wait for methadone treatment. Times for methadone treatment are acting as a disincentive for heroin addicts to seek treatment.

    The waiting times seem to be up and down, improving in some areas but certainly deteriorating in others. The waiting time in some areas is so long that addicts, once they want to get off the drugs, are saying there’s no point putting their names down.

    “So what the State is saying to people is that they want to engage with addicts and get them into treatment but then when they do go seeking it the State is saying ’Go back out and use illicitly because we can’t give you a service yet’.”

    Read more

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