The North West region is the only area of the country not to have a long-stay facility for drug and alcohol rehabilitation, it has been revealed.
Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has described the confirmation from the HSE and the Government as "the latest evidence of the sheer discrimination and neglect faced by the people of Donegal".
Senator Mac Lochlainn said:"Drug and alcohol addiction is a profound issue in our society. No less so here in Donegal. We need to fully support those who are suffering with these unfortunate addictions when they go down the path of recovery.
Following questions to the Minister for Health, I have now learned that there is not one single long-stay facility for drug and alcohol rehabilitation in Donegal and the North West region (HSE CHO1 region). The nearest facilities are in Galway and Dublin. In reality, this means that the families of Donegal people in recovery are being forced to travel long journeys to support their loved ones. It also probably means that many addicts are choosing not to opt for long stay support because of the distances from their homes.
"This is the latest evidence of the sheer discrimination and neglect faced by the people of Donegal when it comes to our health service. Of course, Donegal and the North West region is the worst served region in the entire country when it comes to drug and alcohol addiction supports.
“If it wasn't for the dedicated team at White Oaks in Muff, we would have absolutely no care facilities in this region to support those in recovery.
"My Sinn Féin colleagues Cllr Gerry McMonagle (Regional Health Forum Member) and Deputy Pearse Doherty have repeatedly raised the need for improved drug and alcohol addiction supports in Donegal. We will continue to fight for fairness in this regard for the people of Donegal."