People dying through drug misuse while crying out for help

24 March 2017

Clare Bailey MLA has called for greater support for people addicted to opioids, as the PSNI revealed that deaths from opioid misuse are becoming more prevalent than road deaths.
The South Belfast MLA said: “I am working with the families of local drug users who say that finding treatment within the Belfast Trust is seriously difficult.

“Those addicted to opioids now face a 12 month waiting list for addiction support and treatment. The target for a first appointment after GP referral is 9 weeks.  

“Indeed, I’ve been working with families who say that their waiting time has stretched to over 18 months.

“The reality is that people are dying through drug misuse while crying out for help and support. 

“The Belfast Trust is doing everything possibility with limited resources and turning around lives where they can.  

“But, the Substitute Prescribing Team in the Belfast Trust needs to be funded in an appropriate way. 

“Otherwise, the criminal justice system, our health services and society more broadly all pay the price of addiction.

“Moreover, it is disturbing to realise that lack of political progress means that budgets may be reduced further in the next financial year.

The former Justice Committee member concluded:

“We need the traditional parties to hammer out a deal so that we can agree a budget, get on with government and direct services where needed”.

Media contact: Sinead McIvor

07701 302 498

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