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Refusal to regulate Church of Scientology Drug Addiction Centre in Ballivor – Tóibín

11 May, 2018

Sinn Féin Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has learned today that the Fine Gael government has refused to regulate residential drug rehabilitation centres, such the one currently under construction by the Church of Scientology in Ballivor, Co Meath. 

In response to a number of meetings between the Minister for Drugs Catherine Byrne and An Teachta Tóibín, a letter was issued by the department to the Meath deputy which states “there is no provision for legislation for the regulation or inspection of residential treatment or rehabilitation centres specialising in addiction. The Department of Health is not considering the inclusion of residential drug addiction treatment centres under the remit of HIQA.” 

Attending the Demonstration help in Ballivor today against the unregulated service today, An Teachta Tóibín said:

“This is the wrong decision by the government and it is a dereliction of duty of care of those suffering from addiction, who are among the most vulnerable in society.  The Department is already on the record in a response to a Parliamentary Question of mine, stating that there is no evidence as to the efficacy of the service provided by the Church of Scientology.

“People in the grip of addiction are among the most defenceless in our society. Over 80% of people presenting with Substance Abuse suffer with anxiety, depression, and have backgrounds of trauma. That the door could be wide open for their exploitation is a dereliction of duty by the state. This gap needs to fill immediately. Right now, anyone can open a residential drug rehabilitation centre today and deliver any service they like without any regulation.  

“Unsurprisingly, there is also widespread worries in the Ballivor community as to the dangers of this service and its effect on the community. I am calling on the Minister to reconsider her decision or my office will have to draft legislation to fix this glaring gap in the states duty of care.” 

Note: Please see the PQ attached

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