Lack of money prevents addicts seeking help

Financial pressures are preventing many people with addictions from getting help, according to a leading treatment agency.

Cork-based Tabor Lodge said, while 619 people were offered assessment appointments in 2012, only 376 attended, compared with 455 in 2011.

Their 2012 annual report said the recession, high unemployment, and discontinuation of private health insurance dominated the decisions of people.

“Many will raise their concerns regarding financing their treatment, with an increasing number of people reporting limited means or, in many cases, no financial resources to access treatment,” said the report. “As a result assisting patients to access treatment can be challenging.”

The agency, set up by the Sisters of Mercy in 1989 to address addiction in Cork and surrounding counties, said there were 218 admissions to its main service — the Primary Treatment Centre. Of these, 157 were related to alcohol misuse, “illustrating once again that alcohol is the most common drug to be treated in Tabor Lodge”. It said 45 related to other drugs, including the abuse of prescription medication.

Thirteen were for gambling, while three were for eating disorders.

Of the 218, 191 completed the programme, a success rate of 88%, 22 of whom were discharged to other aftercare services. Of the 169 discharged to Tabor Lodge continuing care, 113 were in contact at the end of the year, 93 in regular contact.

Two extended treatment services are provided, including the renewal women’s programme, dealing with 47 women last year.

“Heroin is becoming more prevalent and whereas, before, heroin users would have been in the late 20s, nowadays it has become prevalent among those 18 years and up.”

Alcohol was the main drug of choice for 90% of men, followed by cannabis (83%), cocaine (81%) and prescription drugs (67%).

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