Government policy in relation to drug and alcohol addiction services is set out in the national drugs strategy, Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery-a health led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017-2025.
Action 2.1.20 of the strategy commits to expanding addiction services for pregnant and postnatal women. This includes the provision of Drug Liaison Midwives and specialist medical social workers in all maternity networks as part of the National Women and Infants Health Programme (NWIHP).
In 2018, the Department granted funding to allocate six medical social workers nationally, one to each Maternity Network. Two Drug Liaison Midwife posts are currently in process in Cork Kerry Community Healthcare (CHO4) and Mid-West Community Healthcare (CHO3) and will be appointed this year. Planning for an additional two posts in Community Health Care West (CHO2 )and South East Community Healthcare (CHO5) will be commenced in Q3 of this year.
I am committed to providing Drug Liaison Midwives in all the major maternity hospitals to support opioid dependent pregnant women throughout their pregnancy, helping them to reduce their drug dependence and improve their social circumstances and wellbeing.