Press Release

New Enhanced Drug & Alcohol Treatment Support Services for the Midlands Region

New Enhanced Drug & Alcohol Treatment Support Services for the Midlands Region

Following an evaluation of drug and alcohol treatment support services in the Midlands, HSE CADS (Community, Alcohol & Drug Services) and the Midlands Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force (MRDATF) have developed a road map for the optimum use of resources and service delivery for the region.

A rigorous tendering process was conducted and as a result, Merchant’s Quay Ireland have been awarded the contract to provide a Community based Drug & Alcohol treatment support service for individuals over 18 years and their families for the Midlands Area i.e. Longford, Westmeath, Laois & Offaly.  This service will complement and enhance existing statutory, community and voluntary services currently operating in the region and provide appropriate interventions to over 18’s and their families in line with best international research and standards.

The service will be required to deliver an over 18 treatment support, family support, rehabilitation and aftercare service.  The service will provide a range of interventions using a holistic approach to include community harm reduction, mobile needle and syringe programme, rehabilitation and aftercare support.

We are very much aware of the impact addiction issues have on family members and under this tender have supplemented our services to include a Family Therapist.  We currently have a number of family support groups operating within the midlands area which will continue to meet but in line with best practice will be peer led and MQI will engage with the necessary agencies to assist the groups develop in this regard.

This reorientation of services will ensure a harmonisation of treatment supports across the midlands area thus providing a more equitable and accessible service to all.  This service will be funded using existing MRDATF & HSE CADS financial allocated resources.

Representatives of the HSE, MRDATF and MQI met with some members of the Portlaoise Municipal District to brief them on the reconfiguration of services within the Midlands Region and the services to be provided within Laois.

The key objectives of the service are to

  • Complement and enhance existing treatment services in operation in the region
  • Coordinate the care of individuals and families experiencing problems as a result of their drug and/or alcohol use
  • Target and engage with services users through the delivery of an outreach based harm reduction and crisis support service to drug and/or alcohol users.
  • Reduce the level of individual and community harm experienced in local communities as a result of drug and/or alcohol use

As per tender requirements,  a Drug and Alcohol worker will provide services in each county i.e. outreach, assessment, key working and care planning, interagency case management, referral, advocacy, information and advice (please see their contact details are below).   In addition to having a Drugs & Alcohol worker for Laois as part of the reconfiguration of services, a decision was taken to provide an Open Access/Drop In Service for clients in Portlaoise.  The Open Access Service will provide crisis intervention, key working and case management to service users.  It will act as a point of contact for service users, as well an environment to learn harm reduction skills and access pathways to change through stabilisation or referral into treatment.

It is hoped that this service will be developed over the coming months once a location has been identified.  Currently MQI are renting rooms in the Parochial House where clients are accessing one to one support and a number of groups are facilitated.

The new service is in line with the current National Drugs Strategy and the National Substance Misuse Strategy and will seek to provide equity of access to services across the four counties in the areas of education, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

MQI Midlands Team

Role Name Phone
Service Coordinator Orla Fagan 0867934920
Administrative Assistant Tara Hubbard 0867934953
Laois Drug & Alcohol Worker Barry Donnelly 0872925727
Westmeath Drug & Alcohol Worker Angela Garret 0879150329
Offaly Drug & Alcohol Worker Sinead O’Shea 0879148782
Longford Drug & Alcohol Worker Derek Phelan 0877757763
Open Access Service Portlaoise Kenneth Higgins 0861428492

For more information, please contact:

Carol Casey – Head of Fundraising and Communications

E: carol.casey@mqi.ieT: 01 524 0139



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