September 18, 2020
Taoiseach must clarify remarks on residential type addiction centres – Thomas Gould TD

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Addiction, Recovery and Wellbeing, Thomas Gould TD, has today called on Taoiseach Michael Martin to clarify his comments that “the health authorities are against residential type addiction centres”.

Teachta Gould said:

“The Taoiseach’s comments today were extremely surprising given that the National Drugs Strategy recognises that, while most young people can be treated in the community, some need more ‘specialised services’ such as residential treatment.

“I would ask that he clarify when the decision was made by the Health Authorities to oppose residential treatment, who made this decision and why it does not appear to feed into policy or practice with the National Drugs Strategy, outlining that ‘HSE funding has also resulted in an increased number of residential addiction beds’.

“This government have already shown a serious disregard for people in recovery. The delay and confusion surrounding Recovery Support meetings, such as AA, and the failure of the Minister to, to date, address my concerns in relation to progress made on the Action Plan 2017-2020 in 2019.

“I would ask that the Taoiseach immediately recognises the stigma already surrounding those accessing residential treatment and the impact his comments will have on compounding this.

“We are about to lose 6 adolescents beds for residential treatment. This will be a significant loss to an already struggling and underfunded system. The Taoiseach needs to step up, clarify his comments and replace these beds immediately.”

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