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Scientology's residential drug treatment centre is unregulated - Peadar Tóibín TD

17 January, 2018 - by Peadar Tóibín TD


In answer to a parliamentary question by Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín the Department for Health has admitted that there is currently no provision in legislation for the regulation or inspection of residential treatment or rehabilitation centres specialising in addiction.

The Meath West TD asked the question in relation to the proposed Church of Scientology Narconn drug treatment centre in Ballivor Co Meath.

Teachta Tóibín said;

"There is significant opposition and concern in Meath that this unregulated facility could negatively impact on local people.

"The Department of Health also stated to me that organisations which provide addiction services and are funded by the HSE are required to meet minimum standards in the delivery of services across a range of criteria which form the basis of any service level agreement.

"The Department went further and highlighted that there is no evidence to suggest that the drug treatment programme, provided by the organisation I had referred to them, would meet any of the criteria set out by the HSE for agencies that provide addiction services in its behalf.

“It appears that anyone can set up a residential treatment facility without accreditation and regulation in Ireland at the moment. To me this is a major gap in the state’s responsibility to protect the most vulnerable people.

"People in the grip of addiction are often at their most vulnerable. Over 80% of people presenting with substance abuse suffer with anxiety, depression and have backgrounds of trauma.

"The State has a duty of care and must protect these people. Surely Minister Catherine Byrne must start the process of developing minimum standards for all residential treatment or rehabilitation centers specializing in addiction. This process needs to happen now."

ENDS//

Note: Please see PQ below

QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if an organisation (details supplied) or its affiliate organisations sought access or gained access to deliver its educational programmes to schools in the past five years; and the details of same. (Details Supplied) the Church of Scientology.

REPLY

The organisation referred to has not made any approach to my Department regarding access to deliver educational programmes to schools. 

The board of management is the body charged with the direct governance of a school and is therefore responsible for making decisions as to what external organisations it uses to supplement the curriculum.For Written Answer on : 16/01/2018 Question Number(s): 830 Question Reference(s): 54980/17 Written Department: Health

QUESTION*  To ask the Minister for Health if an organisation (details supplied) or its affiliate organisations has been granted certification, accreditation or a licence by organisations under the direction of his department to deliver health, education or addiction programmes; and if the organisation must have certification, accreditation or a licence to deliver health, education or addiction services here.

Peadar Tóibín T.D.Details Supplied: the Church of Scientology

REPLY

The advice of my Department would be that  anyone seeking treatment for addiction should contact their local HSE addiction service.The Department has no jurisdiction over agencies that provide private addiction services.

 There is currently no provision in legislation for the regulation or inspection of residential treatment or rehabilitation centres specialising in addiction.Organisations which provide addiction services and are funded by the HSE are required to meet minimum standards in the delivery of services across a range of criteria which form the basis of any service level agreement.

There is no evidence to suggest that the drug treatment programme, provided by the organisation referred to by the Deputy, would meet any of the criteria set out by the HSE for agencies that provide addiction services in its behalf.

That organisation's drug treatment programme comprises a series of interventions with limited or no basis in a scientific understanding of human physiology and brain functioning.

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