Cameron to push ahead with ‘cold turkey’ drug policy

The journalist who chose the headline would have known that ‘Cold Turkey’ implies a harsh treatment. Using residential rehabs to help those addicted to recover may be tough but it is not inhumane – and far better than allowing drug dependents to languish for years in addiction to methadone….. The great sadness is the number of residential rehabs which were forced to close when the NTA preferred methadone maintenance to treatment towards abstinence. NDPA

David Cameron is to push ahead with radical “abstinence” plans for the most serious drug addicts.

There are estimated to be 200,000 seriously-addicted users of heroin, crack and cocaine Photo: ALAMY

The Coalition is working on proposals to stop the widespread prescription of methadone for heroin users and instead increase the use of “cold turkey” residential treatment programmes.

Drug services are expected to be paid by results if they manage to get addicts off heroin and cocaine. It also emerged last week that ministers are considering withholding benefits from those refusing treatment.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has been charged with drawing up the new strategy despite pressure from the Department of Work and Pensions to take the lead in tackling addiction.

There are estimated to be 200,000 seriously-addicted users of heroin, crack and cocaine and many existing programmes have focused on keeping them away from crime rather than treating their addiction.

James Brokenshire, the Drugs Minister, said: “We are looking to have greater emphasis on recovery rather than simply on treatment itself. The aim is to get people clear of addiction.”

Mr Brokenshire said that there should only be a limited role for methadone in treatment. “[Methadone] should be seen as part of a pathway taking people to a position where they are clear of addiction,” he said.

Source: Telegraph 23rd August 2010

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