Britain lags behind in drugs treatment

offers drug substitution treatment to fewer addicts than most other European
Union member states, according to an EU drug-use agency.

The proportion of problem drug users given
substitutes such as methadone ranges between six and 22 per cent in the UK,
says the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

By contrast, the proportion of these patients
given drug substitutes, by health centres, hospitals and outreach units in
France is between 40-50 per cent, 33-63 per cent in Germany and 27-29 per cent
in Italy.

Such treatment is most common in Spain, with
between 41 and 86 per cent. The Netherlands also has a high proportion of
problem users receiving substitutes (40-47 per cent).

The agency concludes that political decisions
are behind the wide divergence in approach.

-The full report can be found at:

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