Wednesday, 5 December 2018
Department of Health
Addiction Treatment Services
The Health Service Executive has overall responsibility for the provision of addiction treatment services. The Executive has advised that the vast majority of people who wish to detoxify off tablets such as benzodiazepines or similar substances are appropriate to treat in a community setting.
The Department of Health and Children published Benzodiazepine Best Practice Guidelines in 2002. Detoxification in the community can be achieved either by a gradual dose reduction of the drug or by converting to an equivalent dose of diazepam and providing a tapered dose reduction over a period of time, in conjunction with psychosocial support. There are no data on waiting lists for this type of intervention.
Residential detoxification off benzodiazepines is occasionally required in the case of polysubstance misuse where the individual is using tablets in conjunction with other substances. All the tier 4 services can provide a detoxification off heroin and tablets concurrently if the clinical assessment indicates that this is necessary. In instances where the assessment has indicated that tablets alone are the problem it is advised that at least 2 community-based detoxification programmes are attempted before a residential detoxification would be considered.
As part of a comprehensive care plan, an inpatient detoxification can be offered by tier 4 services if clinically appropriate and if the person is engaged in an addiction counselling process with a structured rehabilitation plan in place for the post detoxification phase of their treatment.
A summary of residential detoxification places by service provider follows, along with average waiting times, as of October 2018.
Detoxification beds by type and location
|Medical Detoxification Units Location||Number of Beds||Current Average Waiting Time|
|Cuan Dara - Cherry Orchard Hospital||9||6 weeks|
|St. Michaels Ward, Beaumont Hospital||10||Male 8–10 weeks|
|Female 4-6 weeks|
|Community Based Residential Detoxification Location||Number of Beds||Current Average Waiting Time|
|Cuan Mhuire, Athy (Drugs)||6||Up to 4 weeks (opiates)|
|Cuan Mhuire ,Farnanes, Co. Cork (Drugs and Alcohol)||8||7-14 days (opiates & polysubstance),|
|1-7 days Alcohol|
|Cuan Mhuire, Bruree, Limerick (6 male Drugs, 21male Alcohol & 3 female drugs/alcohol)||30||8 - 12 weeks (opiates & polysubstance),|
|1-3 days Alcohol|
|MQI St. Francis Farm, Tullow, Co Carlow||10||2 weeks|
|Adolescent Residential Detoxification Location||Number of Beds||Current Average Waiting Time|
|Aislinn, Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny (Drugs and Alcohol)||4||2 weeks|
 In addition, there are 2 emergency beds that are used for observation (medical concern). These additional beds have been used for people in detox.
 Data from June 2018