UK National Health Service May Expand Heroin Prescription 7/16/99

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items


recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed


Taylor West, [email protected]

Britain's National Health Service (NHS) is considering expanding the prescription of injectable, pharmaceutical heroin to severely addicted users. The plan would encourage qualified and certified doctors to prescribe diamorphine to addicts for whom methadone treatment have failed.

Recent research from the National Addiction Centre in London shows that some drug users whose addictions do not respond to orally-administered methadone are able to stabilize their addictions -- and their lives -- on a carefully managed injection diamorphine program. Currently, methadone accounts for 96 percent of all opiate prescriptions for treating drug dependency in the UK. While British doctors have long been allowed to prescribe injectable heroin, it accounts for less than two percent of the total number of prescriptions for opiates.

The NHS proposal would encourage qualified doctors to apply for diamorphine prescription licenses. This license would allow a doctor to prescribe heroin as part of a drug addict's treatment if the doctor's clinical judgment deems it appropriate and support services are available. Estimates from local drug organizations indicate that approximately 20,000 severely addicted drug users could benefit from the treatment if the proposal is adopted.

For more on heroin and methadone maintenance, check out The Lindesmith Center's online collection of articles and research on heroin and methadone maintenance:

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #99, 7/16/99 House Subcommittee Holds Second Hearing Attacking Drug Policy Reform | UK National Health Service May Expand Heroin Prescription | Kids On Texas Border Using More Cocaine | Governor Balks as Medical Marijuana Task Force Recommendations Move Forward in California Senate | News in Brief | Media Alert: New York Premiere of "You Know What I'm Saying?" | Editorial: A Drug War Suppressant
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]