Speaking today in response to the imminent closure of Cara Lodge in West Cork, Sinn Fein spokesperson on Addiction, Recovery and Wellbeing Thomas Gould TD, has said that these beds “need to be saved”.
Cara Lodge Residential Treatment Centre provides a free residential programme for males aged 14 – 18 years old who have substance misuse issues. The capacity of the residential centre is for 6 young people and the length of their stay is up to 12 weeks, dependent on the young person’s presenting need.
Teachta Gould said:
“I asked the Minister recently for the number of beds available in residential facilities and there were only 34 beds available for adolescents nationally in June 2020. To hear that we are about to lose 6 of these vital beds is shocking.
“These beds need to be retained or an alternative found immediately. Covid-19 has exacerbated addiction issues for many people because of the levels of isolation and loneliness experienced during lockdown and a loss of people’s normal support systems. This is not the time to be losing beds.
“I have already raised significant concerns about the need for an increase in funding per bed, or client, to Section 39 facilities given the loss of capacity due to public health guidance. These facilities were underfunded prior to Covid-19 and I am worried we are going to see more closures in coming months.
“I am hoping the HSE will intervene and make sure that alternative beds are found immediately.”