St. Francis Farm Detox Unit

St. Francis Farm Detox Unit

Located on a working Farm, Merchants Quay Ireland’s Drug-Free Detox & Rehabilitation Centre offers residential programmes aimed at providing detox & drug-free rehabilitation through a unique blend of individual and group work, education, and practical skills training in a rural farm setting. Click here to watch a video of the farm.

The programmes include one-to-one support and care planning, group work, self-esteem seminars, assertiveness training, anger management, art work and relapse prevention training. Service users also receive education in first aid, overdose prevention, life skills, and budgeting.

What makes this Detox programme unique is the fact that it is run on a working farm, giving service users the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in animal care and vegetable production. The food produced at the farm is used to supply the kitchens in our various centers, and contributes to feeding up to 300 people every day.

Due to COVID we have had to restrict some of the program activities such as family visits, in person and client outings – we endeavour to provide these parts of the program online where possible St. Francis Farm Detox Unit offers 24 hour medically supervised residential detoxification and individually tailored treatment plans for men and women over 18 years of age. The new purpose-built detox unit can accommodate up to ten residents at any one time and we have a strong community atmosphere which fosters peer support to promote positive outcomes.


What does the Detox Programme offer?

  • Methadone Detox
  • Benzodiazepine Detox
  • Suboxone Detox
  • Methadone and Benzo combined detox
  • Individual care planning
  • 24-hour medical supervision
  • Individually tailored 4-8 week Detoxification Programme
  • One-to-one work
  • Group work
  • Primary Healthcare
  • Addiction and health education workshops
  • Onward referral to post-detox rehabilitation and aftercare services
  • Note family visits are not facilitated within the detox programme 
  • Female Self-care
  • Female only ‘here & now’ group

How do I contact St. Francis Farm Detox unit?

For referrals and further information please call (059) 9186761 (087) 9603905 or email

How do I apply for the St. Francis Farm Residential Detox programme?

You can contact St. Francis Farm Detox unit yourself or a referral can be made through another agency for you. At this point, our staff will ask you to share basic information about yourself and the nature of your addiction. This is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have about the programme. We aim to offer you an assessment appointment within one month of the initial contact.

At an assessment interview, our staff will explore your care needs to make sure St. Francis Farm Detox unit is the best option for you at this time. The interview also gives us the chance to ensure you meet our admission criteria. At this stage, additional reports will be required to support your application. These reports can be from your doctor, Psychiatrist, counsellor, key worker or probation officer and we ask for them so that we can help put the best possible care plan in place for you. You will be asked to provide four passport photographs and the name and address of your GP/psychiatrist for your assessment meeting.

How long will I be waiting for a bed?

Prior to COVID, the waiting time on the ‘ready for admission’ list was roughly 4-8 weeks, however, the waiting time depends on several factors including bed availability, case complexity and also continuing to meet the admission criteria. COVID has resulted in increased waiting times due to COVID safety restrictions – this has resulted in increased waiting times which are currently at over 6 months.  

It is hoped that you won’t have to wait longer than 4-8 weeks on this list before admission, but this depends on bed availability and also continuing to meet the admission criteria. Once we’ve reviewed the reports and if you meet the admission criteria and agree to maintain weekly contact with our staff at St. Francis Farm, you will be moved to our ‘Ready for admission’ waiting list.

What is the Admission Criteria?

  • Clients must be 18 years of age or over.
  • Clients must be on 50mls or less of prescribed methadone daily.
  • Clients must be prescribed 24mgs or less of suboxone
  • For benzodiazepine detoxes, clients must be on 30mgs or less of prescribed Valium daily.
  • Clients are required to be stable & free of all other illicit substances. Clients are considered stable after they have provided 4 consecutive weeks of urine samples that contain only prescribed medications.
  • Clients who also use cannabis are advised to reduce their cannabis consumption in the weeks prior to admission and stop using cannabis in the week before admission. However, given the length of time that it takes cannabis to leave the system, a positive urine result will not prevent a client from being admitted to the unit.
  • We do not provide detox from alcohol in St. Francis Farm, however should alcohol be identified as a secondary issue we will seek additional support from local & referral agencies to work with a client on this issue prior to admission.
  • Clients on other prescribed medication, for example anti-depressants / anti-psychotics, will be assessed on an individual basis to determine whether the St Francis Farm detox is the most appropriate service to meet their needs.
  • The client’s GP and/or psychiatrist will need to provide up-to-date reports for clients presenting with complex mental health / medical conditions, including histories of self-harm and suicide ideation/attempts.
  • No offer of an admission place will be made to a client, without an agreed pathway back into a methadone and /or benzodiazepine prescribing community service, in the event of a breakdown of the residential detox treatment.

Do I need to provide a supervised urine sample on the day of admission?

Yes, on the day of admission, you will need to give a supervised urine sample. This urine sample must be clear of all non-prescribed substances (except cannabis if this was named at time of assessment). If you have been in detox where benzodiazepines were prescribed, a positive urine result for benzodiazepines is acceptable. Failure to meet these criteria will prevent you from being admitted.

Do I have to pay for the St. Francis Farm Detox Programme?

All clients are asked to contribute a maximum of €110 weekly to the cost of rehabilitation. If you are unable to pay this will not prohibit you from attending the programme.

Will I have my own room?

Yes, each client will be given their own room. Bed linen and towels are provided but if you prefer you can bring your own.

Can I phone friends and family while I’m on the programme?

Yes, each client can make two 15 minute personal calls each week, one on Wednesday and one on Sunday. Clients do not receive personal calls or have mobile phones, however there is no limit on the number of letters you can write or receive while on the programme.

Can people visit me during the programme?

At present due to COVID, visits have been suspended, however we do facilitate video calls to friends and family on a Sunday

Do I have to stop smoking?

No, that is not part of the criteria to enter this programme, however if you would like help to stop smoking the staff will assist you.

Can I leave St. Francis Farm Detox at any stage during the programme?

Clients will not be allowed to leave the programme unaccompanied for the duration of the detox. Clients are encouraged to attend any dental/medical treatment, haircuts and any other appointment dealt with prior to admission, and are strongly advised to have or have applied for a medical card.

If I complete the St. Francis Farm Detox successfully, can I then access St. Francis Farm Rehabilitation Programme or High Park?

If you complete our Detox programme successfully, you have a strong chance of admission into our Rehabilitation programmes. Staff will support you to be referred to a residential or community-based aftercare support service.

Do I have to be vaccinated against COVID-19?

Vaccination for Covid-19 is no longer a requirement for admission to St. Francis Farm Detox, however we do encourage clients to get vaccinated prior to entering a residential treatment programme.

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