Aontú leader and Meath West TD, Peadar Toibín has slammed the decision to allow the controversial drug rehab centre in Ballivor to proceed.
He told Meath Live, “The State has a duty of care to patients in need of drug rehabilitation and the community of Ballivor. So far they have refused to provide that duty of care. In response to a Parliamentary Question that I tabled to the Department of Health, the Department stated that there is no evidence to suggest that the drug treatment programme, provided by the Church of Scientology would meet any of the criteria set out by the HSE for agencies that provide addiction services in its behalf.
“There is no evidence of effectiveness, value or usefulness in the treatment programme provided to patients who attend their facilities. I have learned from questioning the HSE that there are no minimum standards at all, for residential treatment or rehabilitation centers specializing in addiction.”
“There is no regulation. I could set up a residential drug rehabilitation centre tomorrow and decide my own treatment regime and as long as I wasn’t breaking any law the HSE would take no interest.”
“There is currently no provision in legislation for the regulation or inspection of residential treatment or rehabilitation centres specialising in addiction. Anyone can set up a residential treatment facility. To me this is a major gap in the state’s responsibility to protect the most vulnerable people.”
“People in the grip of addiction are often at their most vulnerable. Over 80% of people presenting with substance abuse suffer from anxiety, depression and have a background of trauma. It is wrong for the government to wash their hands of the responsibility to protect these people. Aontú is calling on the government to institute protections and regulations immediately to protect patients and communities in which these organisations function.”