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Prison Service

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Questions (309)

Patrick Costello


309. Deputy Patrick Costello asked the Minister for Justice the details of all harm reduction interventions, for example, naloxone distribution and needle exchange available in each prison; the number of persons who availed of each intervention in 2020 and to date in 2021, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [58147/21]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The primary harm reduction intervention utilised by the Irish Prison Service is a healthcare professional consultation with the patient. This includes doctors when prescribing, addiction nurses and addiction counsellors, pharmacists and nurses when dispensing and administering Opioid Substitution Treatment.

Training and harm reduction education is provided by the peer-led Irish Red Cross programme and healthcare staff, including contracted pharmacists within the Irish Prison Service.

I can further advise the Deputy that there is no needle exchange in prison however there are treatments, counselling and training available for patients who wish to avail of addiction services.

Naloxone is not distributed in the prison, it is given to patients on their release from prison.

Patients must have completed the training and understand the risks associated with overdose.

Naloxone is available within the Prison Service for emergency use by trained staff.

The information requested by the Deputy in relation to the use of the prescription and supply of Nalaxone by prison in 2020 and 2021 to date is currently being compiled by officials.

I will be in direct contact with the Deputy when that information is to hand.