Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (610, 664)

Eoghan Murphy

Question:

610. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Health his views on the concentration of methadone clinics in the city centre and social order issues that arise as a result of same; the negative impact this has on those visiting the city, as well as on tourism businesses operating in the city centre. [5314/14]

View answer

Eoghan Murphy

Question:

664. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Health if the Health Service Executive is considering changing its policy of concentrating methadone clinics in the city centre, particularly in tourist areas; and if it is considering alternatives such as mobile clinics. [5312/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 610 and 664 together.

The HSE provides opioid substitution (mainly methadone) in a number of treatment settings to meet the needs of individual drug users. These settings include:

- primary care through GPs and community pharmacies;

- satellite clinics that facilitate opioid substitution provision through community pharmacies;

- treatment centres where opioid substitution treatment is dispensed on site; and

- residential rehabilitation facilities. 

The HSE recognises that drug treatment is best provided at the lowest level of complexity, matching the patient's needs and as close to the patient's home as possible. There are currently 54 clinics within the four Dublin Local Authority Areas of which only 6 are based in the city centre at:

- City Clinic, Amiens Street

- Bride St

- Merchants Quay Project

- National Drug Treatment Centre, Pearse Street

- Castle St Clinic

- Cork St Clinic

The HSE Addiction Service continues to co-operate with the local community representatives of the North and South Inner City and the local Gardaí in minimising any negative public order issues that may arise in the vicinity of its treatment centres. There are no plans to introduce alternatives to the opioid treatments services outlined above such as mobile clinics.