I am a professional making a referral

It is recommended that when an individual is seeking support around their addiction, that a recovery care plan be drawn up. A care plan is a treatment plan that outlines the supports and care required to support an individual through recovery. This is generally drawn up by a key worker who is a designated person in an organisation who supports the individual to achieve their goals.

In the public health service, non-residential treatment is free of charge. Addiction treatment services are provided by the Health Service Executive (HSE) Drug and Alcohol Services. Most services listed here are provided by community and voluntary projects funded by the local or regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force.

Things to be aware of…

Polysubstance misuse

Often alcohol can be accompanied by polysubstance use and this should be explored specifically with the client. Treatment options may vary depending on what substances are at play. If alcohol is the primary substance of choice this should be dealt with primarily. However, when engaged with specialist addiction services, a key worker will be able to support the individual with achieving their goals around their alcohol/drug use.

Dual Diagnosis

This is a term used when a person suffers from both a substance abuse problem and another mental health issue such as depression or an anxiety disorder. Often alcohol use does not occur in isolation and individuals may self-medicate as a result of symptoms related to a mental health condition. There are complexities in the treatment provision of individauals presenting with dual diagnosis. However, we recommend for the most hollistic approach that the individual be referred to a specialised addiction service and mental health services to provide a multidisiplinary approach to ensure they are offered the most appropriate level of care.

Treatment Options

It can be useful to explore the following options with your client to identify what supports might be best suited for them. You can click on the relative link to find information on where to access these supports.

If you are looking to provide additional information about where to access supports to someone you are working with, please find some downloadable and printable leaflets here.

Peer Supports

The main focus of peer support groups is to provide a safe space where individuals with shared experience can support and empower each other. Examples of peer support groups for individuals in addiction and addiction recovery are: LifeRing, SMART Recovery, AA, and NA.

Please find a list of services that provide peer supports here.


Community Organisations

There are a variety of free confidential services in the community that offer support to anyone looking to address their alcohol use in a non-residential setting. These services offer psychosocial supports such as key working, groups/day programmes, counselling supports, aftercare supports, family supports and a variety of other services. Each service varies in the supports they provide. They initially offer an assessment to determine the individuals needs and advise on a plan that would be best suited in supporting someone to achieve their goals.

Please refer to key-working and day programme supports to find a list of community organisations that may be able to support your client.


A keyworker is a point of contact with a particular organisation. They help you to identify your goals around your alcohol/drug use and other aspects of your life. The key worker will work with you to create a care plan which is a treatment plan that outlines the support and care required to help you to achieve your goals. The key worker will advocate on your behalf and will liaise with other services and make referrals with consent.

Please find a list of services that provide keyworking supports here.


Day Programmes

Groups and day programmes offer a chance for people with similar experiences to help and inspire each other. These programmes are generally provided by community organisations and are aimed at people who are actively drinking/using substances and would like support in reducing, or ceasing their consumption in a community setting.

Some services also offer aftercare programmes aimed at individuals who are drug/alcohol free and would like support in their recovery.

Please find a list of services that provide group and day supports here.


Medically Supervised Community Alcohol Detox

This is a process where an individual is prescribed medication that helps them to manage withdrawal symptoms as they cut down their drinking through medical supervision of a GP with support from a community organisation through key working or group support. If you have a client who requires a medical detox, you will find a list of services below that offer psychosocial supports alongside medical support. These supports assist the individual through the recovery process and ensure there is an adequate aftercare plan in place to strengthen the individual’s capacity to remain in abstinence.

Please find a list of services that provide psychosocial support to individuals engaging in a community alcohol detox.


Counselling and psychotherapy can sometimes be an effective method to overcome the challenges of alcohol misuse and alcohol dependency. The focus on treatment is generally aimed at supporting the individual to overcome urges and learn coping techniques and skills to deal with their addiction. It offers a space whereby the individual can safely explore the source of the behaviour and supports the individual to reach a level of self-awareness that assists them in recovery. Different services have different criteria for accessing counselling supports. They also vary from being free, low-cost or sliding scale depending on your circumstances, so we recommend you contact them directly for more information.

Please find a list of services that provide counselling supports here.

Residential/Inpatient Detoxification

There are a range of both public and private residential treatment services around the country. Residential Treatment involves staying in a treatment facility for a period of time. Some individuals may require in-patient detoxification where they have medical supervision. We recommend if you are looking for residential treatment to contact one of the community organisations who will be able to advise you on accessing residential supports, and support you with the referral process.

Please find a list of services that provide residential and in-patient supports here.


All services vary slightly in their approach.

We recommend that you contact each service directly for more information on the supports they provide.