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Monday 11 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Addiction via Shutterstock
keltoi house

Just eight out of 20 beds in operation at successful HSE rehab unit

Brendan Kiernan manager of Keltoi House said “the completion rate makes it very cost-effective”.

A HSE-OPERATED rehab facility in the Phoenix Park in Dublin has a 50 per cent success rate but yet it is operating at less than half its full capacity.

Keltoi House for former drug users in the east has 20 beds but because of staffing restrictions in the HSE only eight are in operation.

They have 16 full-time staff at the moment, but are hoping to recruit three more to bring bed numbers to 14. However, it will mean the unit will still only be 70 per cent full.

A study published in 2011 showed that 51 per cent of the clients were completely alcohol and drug free between one and three years after leaving the unit, 60 per cent were absent from everything but alcohol and 65 per cent were free from everything but alcohol and cannabis.

Brendan Kiernan, manager of Keltoi House told that the service is “very staff intensive” but “the completion rate makes it very cost-effective”.

He said the last survey of similar rehab units in Ireland was carried out in the 90s and showed clients only had a 10 per cent success-rate on leaving.

“That makes Keltoi five times more successful and very cost-effective,” Kiernan said. “A person who is two years drug-free instead of 10 to 15 years on methadone can make a huge cost difference to the State.”

“Our service is unlike others as it’s a real-life working environment. It’s an environment where the client feels like they are in the driving seat, instead of cocooning them like other rehabs,” explained Kiernan. “Ultimately, we want to expand the programme. The figures are proof that the service works.”

Read: Treating heroin users with heroin works – EU report>
More: Coke, cannabis and getting clean: Ireland’s drug problem, in numbers>

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