Addictions Service

The Addictions Service provides a range of accessible, high quality and individual services for adults (aged 18+) residing in the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust area, who are dependent on alcohol and/or other drugs. 

The Community Addictions Service objectives are as follows:

  • To provide a comprehensive assessment of all patients engaging with the service
  • To provide a range of therapeutic psychological interventions within the hospital or community setting, which are accessible and client centred
  • To facilitate planned drug reduction and/or substitute programmes where appropriate as part of assessment and care planning
  • To facilitate referral to inpatient services
  • To provide onward referrals to appropriate agencies when necessary
  • To provide health education and health promotion in relation to alcohol and substance misuse
  • To encourage the involvement of relatives throughout the treatment journey

The Addictions Service is multidisciplinary in nature, comprising of Doctors, Nurses and Social Workers. The service encompasses:

  • Alcohol Liaison Service for the Ulster, Down & Lagan Valley Hospitals
  • Specialist Addiction Health Promotion Worker who provides education, prevention and training service
  • The core Community Alcohol/Drug Teams
  • Dual Diagnosis Nurse
  • Benzodiazepine Nurse
  • Substitute Prescribing Team
  • Inpatient treatment service (Shimna House)


Referral and Criteria

The Addictions Service will accept referrals from General Practitioners, Mental Health Professionals, Prison Service and our contracted voluntary partners i.e. Dunlewey Substance Advice.

Individuals referred who have on-going dependency issues will be sent a letter within two working days informing them of their referral and requesting that they confirm by telephone within five working days if they wish to engage with the service.

Those individuals who fail to confirm will be sent a further letter asking them to contact the service within a further five working days. Failure to do so may result in no further offers being made by the service and they, their GP and/or referral agent will be informed in writing. Once confirmation is received from the patient, individuals will be invited for assessment by a designated worker.

There is an expectation for the client to be a minimum of 12 hours drug/alcohol free at the time of each contact. Individuals who present intoxicated may be offered another appointment, if appropriate and asked to leave.

If involvement is agreed, a range of interventions are available:

  • Alcohol Education Group
  • Women’s Group
  • Men’s Group
  • Structured day programme 
  • Substitute prescribing 
  • Antabuse Therapy 
  •  Campral Therapy 
  •  Naltrexone Therapy 
  •  Medical Clinic 
  •  Drug Reduction Programme 
  •  Psychosocial interventions 
  •  Anxiety Management 
  •  Inpatient treatment (Shimna House, Downshire Hospital)

Discharge from the service can happen following:

  • Completion of treatment 
  •  Onward referral 
  •  Non-attendance of appointments 
  •  Non-compliance with treatment plan 
  •  Self-discharge 
  •  Unacceptable behaviour 
  •  Violence/aggression either threatened or actual


Lisburn Team        
TSL House
38 Bachelors Walk     
Telephone: (028) 9266 8607    

North Down and Ards Team      

 Lough House
Ards Community Hospital
Telephone: (028) 9151 2159

Down Team

Shimna House
Downshire Hospital
Ardglass Road
Telephone: (028) 4451 3921 
                    (028) 4451 3922