Coolmine Therapeutic Community wants the government to give it access to prison inmates, for treatment
Almost three-quarters of clients of a drug rehabilitation programme in Dublin are drug-free after two years.
The study of Coolmine Therapeutic Community by Trinity College Dublin found that 98% of those who completed the programme had not engaged in criminal activity either.
Coolmine is urging the government to allow it access to prisons to treat inmates for addiction issues.
Spokesperson Tracey Cagney says treating addicts makes sense:
"Certainly from an economic point of view, it makes sense to treat people in addiction. From a social point of view - reducing crime, putting people in stable accommodation. Having children with their parents, and not an addiction. From a humanitarian point of view...We have a responsibility."
Paul, a former client of Coolmine Therapeutic Community explains why he sought help: "I was addicted to heroin, cocaine, crack, tablets, everything. I was down to eight stone. I couldn't hold down a job. My marriage had broken up and I had distanced myself from the children."
Three months after starting the year-long programme, Paul was sentenced to two and a half years in prison, but he was determined not to relapse.
Five years on, life is very different for Paul:
"Life is brilliant. I have peace of mind. I don't hurt anyone today. Mainly I don't hurt myself, or my family, or society. I am a productive member of society. I work for Coolmine and I have me (sic) own company set up.
He talks about forming a relationship with his grandchildren:
I find it hard to find words to even describe it, but beautiful. I would use the work beautiful."