Written Answers - Prison Drug Treatment Services.

Thursday, 20 October 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 608 No. 66

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  67.  Mr. Gogarty  Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty   asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform  Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell   if the Prison Service has a policy that sets a maximum dosage of methadone allowable for prisoners; if so, the details of the maximum dosage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29736/05]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell  Methadone is prescribed for prisoners as part of either a detoxification regime or, where clinically indicated, as part of a maintenance programme for prisoners who have either been on such a programme in the community prior to committal or who are, following clinical assessment, considered to be suitable candidates to commence such a programme while in prison.

The Prison Service has no policy indicating a maximum dosage of methadone allowable for prisoners. The level of dosage prescribed in each case is a matter for individual clinical decision. In situations where a newly committed prisoner shows evidence of recent opiate misuse and is being considered for a clinical detoxification using methadone it has been long standing policy guidance that, given the uncertainty of previous consumption, such a detoxification should commence with a low dose and be adjusted on the basis of ongoing clinical review. This is to minimise the risk of inadvertent overdose.

Question No. 68 answered with Question
No. 44.


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