The Ills that Haunt Addiction Treatment in Ireland

The Ills that Haunt Addiction Treatment in Ireland

Addiction treatment programmes in Ireland are lacking; or so says an article on the Irish Times that chronicles how options for addiction treatment programmes in the country include centres that offer only medicated recovery – trading one drug for another – or ones that mandate you be drug-free for at least two weeks before entering.

The problem, the article explains, is that addiction treatment in the state is not included under the umbrella of the Health Information and Quality Authority, which sets national standards for the population’s health concerns, including elderly care and child care. Therefore, practices in addiction treatment programmes are not regulated.

Moreover, because addiction treatment is excluded from this list, information about what kind of addiction treatment the country’s centres offer is not available to the public. Should an addict wishing to recover what to find a clinic that offers group therapy, focuses on physical health and does not treat addiction with methadone, he or she would have difficulty finding this information.

A socially conservative country, Ireland may need to decide what kind of addiction it wants to offer its people. Hopefully any holes in the public programmes can be filled by private addiction treatment.

“’In reality there’s an awful lot of grey areas in addiction,’” psychologist Dr. Paul Hayes told the Irish Times.

“’On one end there’s the traditional, moral-based approaches. On the other end there’s more choice in terms of positive psychology. In the middle is where it all happens. I think one of the issues for addiction treatment in [Ireland] moving forward is to get a levelling out of the philosophy and create a degree of clarity there. That’s the big challenge in Ireland.”