There’s been a few articles around lately in which various people have suggested that Heroin should be made available on the NHS (that’s the free UK health service for non-UK readers). One of these is Dr Richard Simpson, the former Scottish drugs minister, BBC NEWS – Call to trial heroin on the NHS.
Cleveland Police Det Supt Tom Stoddart supports the idea, suggesting that it would help to get those most addicted off the drug without them engaging in crime to fund it. BBC NEWS – call to offer heroin on NHS.
Now what these people don’t seem to realise (maybe they should do a little research), is that heroin is already supplied on prescription through the NHS, and has been for many years. It’s rare for anyone to get it, and they usually have to demonstrate that the normal Methadone prescription isn’t helping them. But I myself have worked with a number of people being supplied pharmaceutical heroin on prescription. Its nothing new.
Does it actually help people get off the drug though? That’s arguable, for some people, yes. But for others, it just allows them to get on with their lives without having to raise vast sums of money (usually illegally) to fund an addiction which is seemingly beyond their control. Here’s one woman who’s been on a prescription for over two years – “I get my heroin on the NHS“