"1.3 The Substitute Prescribing Implementation Group was created by the DHSSPS and in February 2004 ‘Northern Ireland Guidelines on Substitution Treatment for Opiate Dependence’ were published. The new guidelines, including the arrangements for the monitoring and evaluation of Substitute Prescribing, were introduced on 1 April 2004.
"1.4 Subsequently the Public Health Information and Research Branch (PHIRB) formerly known as Drug and Alcohol Information and Research Unit (DAIRU), in conjunction with the treatment services responsible for delivering Substitute Prescribing, developed a series of monitoring forms. The Northern Ireland Substitute Prescribing Database (SPD) has been developed and is maintained by PHIRB. All data is supplied in an anonymised form to PHIRB for input to the SPD.
"1.5 The Northern Ireland Substitute Prescribing Database (SPD) was developed and, using the SP1, SP2 and SP3 forms, data collection began on 1 April 2004.
"1.6 There are currently thirteen statutory specialist drug services from across Northern Ireland supplying data on problem drug users presenting to be considered for Substitute Prescribing treatment."
Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency, Statistical Bulletin PHIRB 4/2010, "Statistics from the Northern Ireland Substitute Prescribing Database: 31 March 2010," September 2010, p. 2.