Home Office backs heroin prescriptions

All drug misusers who would benefit from a regulated supply of
heroin are to be prescribed it under the Home Office’s updated
drugs strategy.

Currently, between 300 and 480 people receive heroin treatment each
year. This is to be extended to all who have “a clinical need” and
will be administered in “safe, medically supervised areas with
clean needles”.

Aftercare services encompassing education, housing and employment
are also to be introduced. All drug action teams will need an
aftercare system in place by April 2005.

Drug-misusing offenders charged with drug-related offences will
eventually be offered a straight choice between treatment or

Arrest referral schemes for young people are to be piloted in areas
with high levels of drug-related crime.

Annual expenditure for drug services will rise from just over
£1bn this year to nearly £1.5bn in 2005.

Victor Adebowale, chief executive of charity Turning Point, said
more action was needed to give former drug users better aftercare
and to tackle the shortfall of services.

Go to www.drugs.gov.uk


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