The Deputy may be aware that an agreed Drug Treatment Clinical Policy document was first issued by the Irish Prison Service in 2008. It was reviewed during 2012 to ensure that the Irish Prison Service continued to match best practice in the community, insofar as is possible in the prison setting and within the context of the current budgetary constraints. The policy was examined in detail by a multidisciplinary group, including representatives from community, voluntary and statutory stakeholders, and Irish Prison Service healthcare staff. It was amended to reflect changes in legislation and practice in the community, including the statutory requirements in relation to HIV testing and notification, and the development of In Reach services for the treatment of Hepatitis C.
The Drug Treatment Clinical Policy now encompasses the following:
- Addiction Treatment Charter;
- Clinical Interdisciplinary Care Planning;
- Psychosocial Supports and Pharmacological Interventions for Opoid Dependence;
- Drug Testing;
- Dispensing and Administration of Methadone;
- Viral Screening;
- Immunisation Guidelines;
- Assessment and Treatment of Benzodiazepine Addiction;
- Assessment and Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawals;
- Cocaine Treatment Policy; and
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy Policy.
The Irish Prison Service will continue to implement the policies set out ensuring that its drug treatment services reflect best practice insofar as is possible. The Deputy may also wish to note that the Irish Prison Service has recently conducted a review of its existing Drug Treatment programmes and has developed proposals to reorient and extend its drug treatment options.