Wednesday, March 08, 2006

McConnell to review methadone policy

From the Herald:
"A review of the use of methadone in drug rehabilitation programmes was announced by the first minister yesterday, after a child's death prompted wider questions about the heroin substitute which costs £13m a year."
I wise move, I think most healthcare and social work professionals in Scotland agree. The evidence has been growing for some time thatmethadonee essentially functions socially as merely one amongst a cocktail of drugs that former heroin-addicts use to stablise their addictions.

Horrific as this case was, the Executive would be wise to resist any pressure from the moral panic that seems to be coming from a number of quarters. Most people agree that methadone is to the world of addiction what prozac was to mental health; touted originally as the cure-all wonder-drug, until it's widespread prescription collided with reality. But it remains the case that the methadone programme has, in terms of fatalities, produced roughly a 50% harm-reduction in Scotland.

And remember that it is in the nature of this kind of case that can cause people to forget that sometimes there's a simple solution to avoiding tragedies of this nature: make them drink it in the chemist, for goodness sake! Don't let people take this stuff home.

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