Pubdate: Sun, 19 May 2002
Source: Sunday Telegraph (UK)
Copyright: Telegraph Group Limited 2002
Bookmark: (Heroin Maintenance)


MPs will this week back Home Secretary David Blunkett's call for more 
addicts to be prescribed heroin, it was reported today.

Mr Blunkett said more of those dependent on drugs should get them on 
prescription if it meant they would agree to treatment.

His view will be endorsed by the Commons Home Affairs Select 
Committee when it issues its long-awaited report into the drugs 
problem, according to newspaper reports.

The MPs will also propose the use of controversial "safe injecting 
areas", such as those seen in some continental countries.

A Home Office spokeswoman said proposals to make greater use of 
diamorphine, so-called "medical heroin", were nothing new.

"The Home Secretary's position has not changed since October when he 
said that doctors should prescribe more drugs if that is a way to 
bring addicts in for treatment," she said.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "Heroin is not available on 
the NHS. There are no plans for it to be available on the NHS.

"Diamorphine is currently available to a very small number of drug 
users prescribed by specialist GPs and we don't have any plans to 
change that."
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