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  • Drug Treatment Figures increase in Ireland

    Posted on April 13th, 2015 TimB No comments

    A report in the Irish Examiner  highlights a nationwide surge in the abuse of benzodiazepines and cannabis — and the spread of heroin outside Dublin — has driven drug treatment figures upwards over the last five years.

    The Government has been accused of adopting a “head in the sand” approach to the problem and criticised for a continuing delay in introducing laws controlling the supply and possession of legal tranquillisers.

    Garda sources said that organised crime gangs have moved in to control the supply of the lucrative trade in benzodiazepines (tranquillisers) and so-called z-drugs (hypnotics), while health researchers report that a third of all overdoses involve benzodiazepines.

    Official statistics show a rise of almost 25% in the total number of people treated for illegal drug use between 2009 and 2013, increasing from 6,668 to 8,259.

    Figures gathered by the Health Research Board for the main drug of abuse-level users show that the biggest increases are for benzodiazepines (up 175%, from 261 in 2009 to 719 in 2013), and cannabis (up 61%, from 1,531 to 2,460).

    Opiates — in most cases heroin — rose by 4% from 4,013 to 4,189, but this reflected a fall in Dublin (from 2,360 to 2,100) and a 26% rise outside Dublin (from 1,653 to 2,089).

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  • Hepatitis C treatment access and uptake for people who inject drugs: a review mapping the role of social factors

    Posted on May 8th, 2013 TimB No comments

    Evidence documents successful hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment outcomes for people who inject drugs (PWID) and interest in HCV treatment among this population. Maximising HCV treatment for PWID can be an effective HCV preventative measure. Yet HCV treatment among PWID remains suboptimal. This review seeks to map social factors mediating HCV treatment access.

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  • Number of new drug treatment cases rises 50% in five years in Ireland

    Posted on April 5th, 2010 TimB No comments

    The number of new drug treatment cases has jumped by almost 50% in the last five years, new figures show. Data compiled and analysed by the Health Research Board (HRB) shows that the number of new cases involving people aged under 18 has also risen.

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  • Documentary Treatment Programs

    Posted on December 11th, 2009 TimB No comments

    HBO Documentary Addiction discusses abstinence based treatment programs vs. opiate replacement programs. Video discusses why abstinence based programs do not work for so many.

  • Minister for Drugs welcomes new Drug Treatment Services in Ireland to be developed across the South of the country

    Posted on October 13th, 2009 TimB No comments

    Minister for Drugs, John Curran, T.D., warmly welcomed the today’s HSE announcement of the planned provision of substantially increased Drug Treatment Services at locations across the South of the country from Wexford to Kerry.  The Minister, who attended the announcement in Cork today, confirmed that the initiatives are being part-funded by the Office of the Minister for Drugs.

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  • Detoxifying methadone patient numbers dropping

    Posted on September 7th, 2009 TimB No comments

    The number of people on methadone treatment progressing into detoxification programmes has fallen sharply over the previous two years, new figures show.  From a peak over the previous five years of 799 in 2006, the number progressing into detoxification programmes in a year has dropped to 539 in 2008, having earlier dropped to 613 in 2007. Of the 539 entering detoxification last year, 375 were men compared to 164 women, according to the HSE. In total, 3,488 people on methadone treatment have progressed to detoxification programmes in the last five years, the majority of them (2,375) being male.

    There are currently a total of 36 beds for medical and community detoxification, all of which are situated in the greater Dublin area. Furthermore, Cuan Dara in Cherry Orchard Hospital, Dublin – one of the four institutions providing detox beds – whose waiting times range from two weeks up to four months, only accepts clients from the Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow areas.

    (Irish Medical News)

  • Major rise in addicts seeking treatment

    Posted on September 3rd, 2009 TimB No comments

    THE number of people seeking treatment for cocaine use has almost trebled in the space of five years — while almost a third more heroin users are trying to beat their addiction.

    New figures from the Health Research Board (HRB) show that 11,538 people were treated for opiate — mainly heroin — addiction in 2007, up from 8,804 five years earlier.

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  • HSE South seeks resources to develop addiction services

    Posted on August 12th, 2009 TimB No comments

    The HSE has failed to develop community and outpatient addiction services in the south, owing to a budget shortfall, although the area has the most heroin addicts on chronic treatment waiting lists, as well those waiting for the longest period in the country.

    “The HSE South’s development priority is the improved provision of services at community and outpatient level.  This would allow for greater access, early intervention and improved outcomes,” a HSE official told the recent HSE South Regional Health Forum.

    “The 2009 Service Plan provided €4.2 million nationally, of which at least 25 per cent was earmarked to develop tier two and tier three services in the South. However, in the context of the revised Service Plan and reduction in monies available to the HSE, it has not been possible to progress these developments and every effort is being made to secure the required resources.”

    Currently, there are 545 people waiting to get on the methadone programme countrywide, including 106 in Cork and Kerry, where addicts are waiting 10 months on average for treatment, and 78 in the south-east. The longest waiting list is in the south-east at 18 months.  So far this year 970 people presented for addiction (drugs and alcohol) treatment in the south, 550 of them in Cork and Kerry.

    In 2008, 1,205 presented in Cork and Kerry compared to 1,473 in the south-east.

    In relation to methadone treatment and waiting times, the HSE official said an additional three HSE-led clinics funded by Government minor capital grants will open before year end – one in Wexford and two in Cork city.

    (Irish Medical News)

  • Towards successful treatment completion A good practice guide

    Posted on August 4th, 2009 TimB No comments

    This document examines the reasons why clients may not complete drug treatment and examines factors involved in successful, planned discharges; reviews the research on measures designed to improve engagement and retention in treatment; and gives examples of good clinical practice aimed at improving treatment effectiveness and successful treatment outcomes. By engaging and retaining clients in effective treatment, it is anticipated that more clients will achieve their treatment goals and leave drug treatment in a planned way. (NTA)

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  • Study shows drug treatment programmes are working

    Posted on July 15th, 2009 TimB No comments

    The Irish Examiner reports programmes for heroin addicts are working, according to a detailed research project.

    A three-year follow-on study of users who entered treatment shows significant improvements in terms of drug use, criminal behaviour and rehabilitation.

    But the poor mental health of users has continued – and in some cases has worsened – and there has been little change in physical health.

    The so-called ROSIE study followed 400 heroin addicts in methadone treatment, undergoing detoxification or in abstinence programmes at one-year and three-year intervals.

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