Posts Tagged ‘heroin’

Methadone saves lives, the Coalition’s plans would harm heroin addicts, argues Dr Richard Watson

20/07/2010, 02:42:04 PM

The management of drug misuse featured briefly in the leaders debates when David Cameron seemed to say that everyone should go into residential rehabilation, so it is no surprise that the Coalition seems to be trying to steer treatment policy. 

The National Treatment Agency, a Special Health Authority giving advice on the management of illicit drug misuse, has  new business plan that suggests that substitute treatment, usually with methadone or buprenorphine, should be time limited with patients “moved on” after a year or two.  As ever, their choice of words is revealing – they talk of patients being “parked” on methadone.  We don’t hear people complaining of diabetics being “parked” on metformin or insulin do we?

Up here in Scotland we have heard a lot of similar ill informed rhetoric for a long time now.  “Research” has shown that if you ask heroin addicts if they wish to recover and not be addicted to any drugs they nearly all say yes.  Who would have thought it?  This leads some people to say that patients treated with substitute drugs cannot be said to have recovered even if they are doing well and free of illicit drugs. 


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