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Rise in number of GP referrals for addiction

Thursday, 15th June, 2017 9:32am

Alcohol continued to be the ‘drug of choice’ in 2016, new Cork figures have indicated.

A Cork-based addiction treatment centre said in its annual report that 73 per cent of all clients presented with alcohol-related problems.

The Tabor Group found that 64 per cent of all clients were referred by either a family member or friend and 95 per cent of all clients successfully completed their residential treatment programme.

More than 300 people accessed treatment for addiction across its three residential centres; Tabor Lodge, Fellowship House for Men and Renewal Extended Treatment Centre for Women.

Of the 204 people who accessed treatment at Tabor Lodge’s 28-day residential treatment programme, 148 of admissions were for alcohol-related problems.

Announcing its new 2016 report, Pat Coughlan, Chairman, said: “The patterns that we have seen over the last number of years continued throughout 2016 with high numbers of clients presenting with poly-drug use and dual diagnosis of mental illnesses.”

As in previous years, the majority of those admitted for treatment self-presented.

However, 2016 also saw an increase in GP influence in those seeking help with addiction. GPs directly referred nine per cent of clients and a further 11 per cent of clients reported their GP recommended attending Tabor Lodge.

The statistics also revealed that 93 per cent of clients are living in stable accommodation and 34 per cent are living with a family member.

In addition to alcohol issues, Fellowship House – Tabor Group’s Extended Treatment Centre for Men – has continued to see an increase in the use of cocaine and heroin.

There was an increase of nine per cent of 18-24 years olds presenting for treatment for these drugs.

Poly drug use is common within the three treatment centres. At the Renewal Extended Treatment Centre for Women, addiction to alcohol alone is rarely seen and residents struggle with addictions to alcohol combined with ecstasy, cannabis, cocaine and various prescribed medication.

44 per cent of the women in treatment had dependent children and staff work with Family Services and social workers to help repair and rebuild familial relationships.

At the end of 2016, Tabor Group’s €4.8 million application for the redevelopment of Fellowship House at Spur Hill, Togher was confirmed.

Work has already commenced on this new facility and it is expected to be completed early 2018. This new facility will increase capacity from ten residents to 16, with an additional 15 units of accommodation for men who have completed Fellowship House Treatment Programme but require a ‘Step Down’ model of independent living, while having access to ongoing support and care.

Tabor Lodge first opened in 1989 and began providing treatment for people suffering with alcohol misuse.

Since then, the services have grown to three centres providing support and care to people suffering with addictions to alcohol, substances, gambling and food.

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