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Community Methadone Detox – A New Interagency Approach

The seminar introduces protocols for an interagency approach to community methadone and benzodiazepine detoxification, where drug users remain in their communities and receive structured supports from both social and medical services.  Until now these relationships have been informal and therefore not available for all service users. 

The protocols have two main aims, firstly to provide clarity for medical professionals as to how social supports can be provided to clients from outside mainstream HSE services and secondly to foster a culture where methadone is seen as a feasible step to a drug free life in the medium term. 

The protocols are an important step in forging new working relationships between the community, voluntary and mainstream statutory service providers.  Community detox is useful for individuals who because of family or work cannot access a hospital detox.  It is also necessary to have a clear system for supporting clients who wish to reduce to a lower methadone dose in order to access in-patient detox services. 

The seminar will also provide an opportunity for the doctors dispensing methadone in the community to look at some of the remaining structural issues that make it difficult for them to offer detox as genuine option to clients to avail of detox.

The conference was attended by the Minster of State for Drugs and Community Affairs at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs: Mr Pat Carey, T.D.  Minister Carey said:

"I am delighted to launch the Community Detox Pilot project.  This represents a good example of interagency work, across the statutory and community sectors, to provide a continuum of care that will provide real opportunities to problem drug users to regain their capacity for daily life from the impact of drug use.  The initiative is in line with the recommendations of the Report of the Working Group on Drugs Rehabilitation, the implementation of which I am determined to progress".   "Just last week I announced funding totalling €2m for rehabilitation and cocaine initiatives and I see today's launch as further illustrating the progress being made in regard to enabling problem drug users to fully re-integrate into their communities", continued the Minister. 

"Community Detox is a further step in providing drug users a flexible and human treatment strategy that can respond to their needs and desires. Until now there has been an artificial division between providers of methadone maintenance treatment and detoxification treatment. These new protocols will further bridge that gap so that drug users can be offered a range of options that include long term maintenance or detox or the chance to try one or more detoxifications with the safety net that they can go back on methadone if that fails. Drug users need to be given the power to choose the treatment option that they feel offers the best chance to recovery."

For further information or to conduct interviews with any of the speakers please contact;

Caroline Gardner

Progression Routes Initiative Coordinator (SAOL Project)

T: 01 855 3391

M: 087 1357 819


Event Details

Event: Challenging Apathy to Change – exploring provision of detox options

Date: 8th April

Time: Session 1: 7.30 –  9.30, medical. Session 2: 10.00 – 11.30, drugs services

Venue: The Gresham Hotel, O’Connell St


Posted by Administrator on 04/07 at 12:00 AM in
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