More of a focus on detox beds is required
TIGLIN, a residential addiction rehabilitation centre for men and women located in Ashford, has welcomed the Cabinet’s decision to open supervised injecting facilities.
While greeting the investment in injection centres, Tiglin CEO Phil Thompson (pictured) is urging the Government to place a focus on providing detox beds so as to reduce potential fatalities.
‘Any support for those caught in the misery of addiction is welcome, but more needs to be provided to pave the way out of the trap,’ said Mr Thompson.
Reacting to the Cabinet’s decision, he congratulated Minister of State Catherine Byrne on her support for the initiative
‘Any initiative that decreases the risk of a fatal overdoses or blood born diseases is to be welcomed but I would like to see more done to also concentrate on providing an increase in detox beds. Ireland currently has 58 detox beds for approx 20,000 individuals addicted to illicit drugs, like heroin. This is where more balance would be a welcome investment.’
Tiglin is normally always full to capacity, catering for around 40 people, while there is also a long waiting list to attend the services they provide.
‘ The cohort of people we are reaching wish to move their recovery beyond harm reduction and active drug use and engage in abstinence based recovery,’ added Mr Thompson.
‘At present, we have 63 people waiting for help from Tiglin, and 45 of those need a detox bed before they can enter our programme. We continually see people waiting four to six months for a detox bed. The National Drugs Strategy 20092016 talks about access for drug users to treatment within one month and this is nowhere near being achieved. Injection centres will save lives no doubt, but they will be the lives of those who are in the vicinity of the injections centres only. Detox beds could reach those in need nationwide.’
Tiglin offers a programme for people suffering from addiction, with typically a 78 per cent success rate. A lack of detox beds slows down the intake of addicts and exposes them to more risks.