Drug Treatment Services
The Irish Prison Service offers multidimensional drug rehabilitation programmes for prisoners. Prisoners have access to a range of medical and rehabilitative services, such as methadone substation treatment, psychosocial services, and ‘work and training’ options which assist in addressing their substance misuse.
Any person entering prison giving a history of opiate use and testing positive for opioids is offered a medically assisted symptomatic detoxification, if clinically indicated. Patients can discuss other treatment options with healthcare staff. These may include stabilisation on methadone maintenance for persons who wish to continue on maintenance while in prison and when they return to the community on release. Prisoners who, on committal to prison, are engaged in a methadone substitution programme in the community will, in the main, have their methadone substitution treatment continued while in prison.
The Medical Unit in Mountjoy Prison has 9 places specifically allocated for a drug free programme. This programme is 8 weeks in duration and is provided by prison staff and the community/voluntary sector. The aim of the programme is to assist participants in achieving a drug free status.
Drug Free Units have been established in all closed prisons. There is an aggregate total of 596 spaces in these Units. Methadone substitution treatment is available in 11 of the 14 prisons (accommodating over 80% of the prison population).
An addiction counselling service is available to all prisoners. Merchants Quay Ireland provides a national addiction counselling service for prisoners with drug and alcohol problems.
The HSE provides psychiatrist consultant-led in-reach addiction services to Cloverhill, Wheatfield and the Mountjoy Complex.