Aiséirí, which provides community and residential services to help young people, adults and families overcome addiction and lead meaningful lives in recovery, admitted 550 people with addiction problems to its services in 2015. This represented an increase of 87 clients compared to 2014.
Speaking at the publication of the 2015 Annual report, Mr Paul Conlon, Chief Executive said that, while Aiséirí’s financial position improved in 2015, the increased demand for services in the South East has put pressure on its facilities in Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary and Kilkenny.
“The funding model for our adolescent detoxification and rehabilitation service is not suitable. So we are calling on the Government to fund this essential and successful programme into the future. This will provide a tangible return on the investment for the Exchequer, as young people will be able to take control of their addiction and return to their families and communities,” he said.
Mr Conlon explained that, despite being the only residential detoxification and treatment service for adolescents in the country, Aiséirí struggles to raise funds from private sources to try and cover its cost base and this is not sustainable into the future.
The Annual Report was launched by the Olympic Silver Medallist, Kenneth Egan, who has battled with his own addictions. “I started drinking at the age of 13 or 14 and fully appreciate why services like those at Aiséirí are absolutely crucial to people at a young age. They can literally change young people’s futures as well as helping families come through the ordeal,” he said.
In 2015, Aiséirí had 175 admissions in its adolescent detoxification and rehabilitation service in Kilkenny, an increase of 60 individuals on the previous year.
347 adults were admitted to its adult services in Wexford and Tipperary, an increase of 27 individuals on the previous year, with a further 33 provided with long term secondary treatment in the residential services in Waterford.
Aiséirí saw a rise in the number of women presenting for treatment, many with complex needs. There are urgent requirements for secondary treatment facilities, housing support and specific services to meet these needs.
“We would like to provide such services in the South East, which has no such facilities at present. We have the infrastructure in place in Waterford to deliver on this and, with a little extra funding, the second stage treatment facility for women could well be a reality in 2017,” Mr Conlon said.
Aiséirí also needs to improve the quality of its adult treatment services in Wexford to match the standards required of a modern treatment facility.
Despite these constraints, the team in Wexford continue to provide a service which delivers very good outcomes, and contributes significantly to the recovery and improved circumstances for many of our clients and their families.
Aiséirí also continued to provide a comprehensive aftercare and family service to all those who completed the programme in recent years. 129 past residents received their medallions at the Aiséirí annual ceremonies to mark their first year in recovery.
Aiséirí continued to implement the actions in its ‘Keeping it Simple – 2014 to 2017’ strategy to make its services more accessible for clients who all come from the communities in which we live.
They included: Merging the adolescent detoxification and rehabilitation service in Kilkenny to create a multidisciplinary team approach; completion of a substantial refurbishment at
the adult treatment service in Tipperary; and establishing a new supported housing project in Waterford for men.