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The number of heroin users in treatment in Ireland hit record numbers

At Smarmore Castle we have developed a specialised and effective treatment programme for alcohol addiction.

Record Number of Heroin Users in Ireland Needing Addiction Help

Here at Smarmore Castle, we treat huge numbers of heroin dependent users every year.

Over the last decade, our admissions department has seen substantial increases in heroin-dependent individuals seeking help, support and recovery. See treating heroine addiction.

More information on our addiction treatment

But it’s not just our specialised addiction team that is aware of the ever-growing issue.

The number of heroin users seeking drug treatment has reached record numbers in Ireland, with almost 11,500 receiving substitute medication. A particular 20% jump in Cork and Kerry was recorded, which is almost double the numbers seen nationally.

We can help – if you find yourself addicted to substances like heroin, please know that here at Smarmore Castle we offer evidence-backed therapies, counselling and medically monitored and managed detoxes to help you safely recover. Reach out – it’s never too late to begin.

Sex Addiction treatment: Symptoms, Treatment, and Outlook

The HSE response

The growth in heroin users entering treatment was part of a “concerted” effort by the HSE addiction services to tackle the alarming jump in addicted individuals over the last two years, with 1,000 extra people being welcomed into treatment services across the country. See Heroin Addiction Continues to be an Irish Problem.

Facts and figures:

  • Those entering Opioid Substitute Treatment (OST) has risen from 10,510 in 2018 to 11,481 at the end of 2021.
  • The number of suboxone (buprenorphine) increased substantially from 177 in 2018 to 602 in 2021 (240% increase).
  • HSE national clinical lead on addiction identified the figures showed a 9% increase in the total number of OST between 2018 and 2021.
  • The increase in individuals was not just from the homeless population but across various groupings. However, a research study conducted by Dr Austin O’Carroll commented that the HSE initiatives cut waiting times from 12-14 weeks to two to three days with homeless drug users specifically targeted for inpatient services.

The HSE supplied additional funding to ensure service users were supported in treatment following the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Drug Related Deaths in Northern Ireland, 2009-2019 | Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Tables containing data on drug related deaths and drug misuse deaths registered during 2009-2019 in Northern Ireland

Drug deaths in Northern Ireland double over the last decade

Drug-related deaths linked to opioids like heroin and morphine in Northern Ireland have doubled in the last 10 years.

The latest figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency recorded 218 drug-related deaths in 2020 – up from 191 the year before and from 92 in 2010.

Thus, showing that the problem is much more widespread than solely just being an Irish issue.

At Smarmore Castle, being only a short trip from Belfast, we accept many Northern Ireland patients into our facility struggling with drug, alcohol and behavioural issues.

Treatments we use to help heroin addiction users recover

Assessments: Upon admissions to our Irish facility, you will undergo several assessments for dual diagnosis & complex substance misuse disorders – this is so our consultant psychiatrists can deviate the best recovery plan for your unique situation.

Heroin detox: Before entering the addiction recovery programme, you will undergo a safe detox that is medically managed and monitored with doctors and a 24/7 nursing team – this is to ensure the smoothest and safest withdrawal possible.

Intensive therapy: We offer a range of therapies (cognitive behavioural therapy, equine therapy, drumming therapy) as well as daily 1-1 and group sessions. Our therapy programmes aim to reveal the core reason why you turn to heroin in the first place and install coping tools to help keep you clean and sober.

Learn more about the day-to-day treatment.

The heroin addiction treatment programme experience at Smarmore Castle:

  • Psycho-educational programme of lectures and workshops
  • Intensive introduction to self-help groups
  • Complementary therapies (aromatherapy, Indian head massage, yoga, mindfulness)
  • Exercise and fitness programme (heated swimming pool, fully equipped gym)
  • Reintegration and discharge planning
  • Aftercare groups & teletherapy

Smarmore Castle Quality Assurance policy and associated protocols is supported by frameworks such as:

  • The Intertek ISO international accreditation standards
  • The Professional frameworks for Smarmore Castle staff e.g. IMC, NMBI, ACI
  • The Mental Health Commission Standards
  • CHKS

Begin your recovery journey today.