A doctor tries to lower barriers to methadone treatment
Dr Austin O’Carroll holds regular clinics in a meet-people-where-they-are spirit – trying to erode some of the barriers that prevent Dublin’s homeless from accessing the methadone treatment they need.15 Sep 2017
For John, a heroin user for seven years, there were a few snags that, for a while, held him back from getting stable on methadone treatment.
Staff in two methadone clinics wanted him to give urine samples in front of them – a level of intrusion that he, like others he knows, found uncomfortable and off-putting.
“I couldn’t get stable on methadone because of the way the clinics are, the structure of having to urinate in front of people,” he says. “Somebody comes in with you and there are mirrors around the toilets.”
The metal detectors and security guards lend a hostile feel to the National Drug Treatment Centre, said John, who withheld his surname. “Trinity Court is like walking through a gaol.”
That’s how he ended up using the Safetynet service, which he dropped into on a recent Wednesday morning at the Salvation Army homeless hostel on Granby Row.
There and in other similar places in the city, Dr Austin O’Carroll holds regular clinics in a meet-people-where-they-are spirit – trying to erode some of the barriers that prevent Dublin’s homeless from accessing the methadone treatment they need.
“The main skill I have, is you learn to interact with people,” says Dr O’Carroll, stressing the importance of being upfront and honest and respectful.Share this on: