MORE than one-in-five people attended a Cork addition treatment service are presenting for addiction to gambling.
In 2013, just 2% of those attending the services of the Tabor Group were presenting for gambling addiction. Last year, that number had increased to 22%.
And one-third of those attending Renewal, a secondary service run by the group for women, are addicted to food.
The statistics were revealed in an external evaluation of the Tabor Group, carried out by Trinity College Dublin. TCD was commissioned by the Tabor Group to conduct research of its service model among staff, clients and families of clients to establish its efficacy.
The review, undertaken by public health expert Dr Joe Barry and researcher Dr Jo-Hanna Ivers, looked at the services offered in Tabor Lodge in Belgooly, Fellowship House in Togher (a follow-on service for men) and Renewal in Shanakiel.
The report found that clients “were distinctively different in age, gender, demographics and clinic presentation across the three centres."
Alcohol remained the main recorded substance used by clients of the service, while ecstasy, cannabis and cocaine were the highest drugs used.
The programme run at Tabor Lodge is a 28-day one, which several clients believing the programme is not long enough.
Family members who took part in the review were happy with the aftercare services offered to them and felt that the programme was very supportive of them.
Families recommended that the family services be extended to minors, to include the children of clients of the services.
Mick Devine Clinical Director Tabor Group said: “We are pleased with the report and its findings. The Board of Directors of Tabor Group have adopted all of the recommendations, we are currently working on an implementation programme. We appreciate the contributions of our colleagues in the field of alcohol and drug services here in Cork and the Southern Region as well as clients, their families, staff and all stakeholders. Our hope now is that this report makes a contribution to the National development of drug and alcohol treatment services for the benefit of addicted people and their family.”
Dr Ivers said: “Tabor Group are to be commended for opening their service to external scrutiny and evaluation. This evaluation is a very important part of Ireland's response to addiction, promoting and enabling recovery. The report adds to the much-needed body of evidence for addiction services in Ireland”.
The research was funded by the Health Service Executive.
The Tabor Group began with the opening of Tabor Lodge in 1989 to tackle alcohol misuse.