Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar has today, 21 January 2015, welcomed the HSE’s decision to allocate an extra €100,000 to the Coolmine Therapeutic Community, which provides residential and community treatment and rehabilitation services to help people end their dependence on drugs.
This funding is part of an additional €2.1m provided in the HSE’s budget in 2015 for a range of measures to improve addiction services, including enhancing detox and rehabilitation facilities, mainstreaming needle exchange services outside Dublin and a pilot project to increase access to naloxone to treat overdose in heroin users.
The extra funding will be used to increase frontline services at the Coolmine Therapeutic Community Mother and Child Residential Treatment Service in Ashleigh House. This service allows mothers to keep their children with them during residential treatment, rather than leaving them with family or in State care. Ashleigh House is the only mother and child rehabilitation centre in Ireland and provides a family service that recognises not only the mother’s needs but also those of the child.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony this week for clients who have recently completed the Coolmine twelve month recovery programme, Minister Varadkar told them that:
“Your stories provide hope and inspiration to other drug users. You have shown that drug addiction doesn’t have to be a life sentence. As graduates of the Coolmine Therapeutic Recovery Programme, you are champions for others.
“This extra funding of €100,000 will help Coolmine to meet the growing demand for services at Ashleigh House. The development of individualised care plans for its clients, including both mothers and children, gives us a real opportunity to break the cycle of addiction in families. It also gives people the chance to move away from illicit drug use and experience a healthier lifestyle.
“I recently approved a grant of €40,000 under the National Lottery Scheme towards the cost of constructing a room with changing and sleeping areas, which I hope will improve the facilities available to mothers and children staying in Ashleigh House,” he added.
The new funding announced today by Minister Varadkar will bring the overall funding provided to Coolmine Therapeutic Community by the Health Service Executive this year to over €1m.