DDN March 2020

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‘The savings offered by HAT give an obvious direction’

MANY YEARS AGO the UK treated heroin addiction as a medical issue, with diamorphine scripts dispensed by GPs.DDN Magazine March 2020

It’s taking us a long time to come back to that viewpoint but what might change the political mindset is the economic good sense of heroin assisted treatment (HAT, page 8). The savings represented by each person involved in the programme are significant and give an obvious direction.

Hopefully the summits being held by the UK and Scottish governments (as we go to press) will not ignore the evidence from here and abroad. Investing in treatment programmes – that not only offer the appropriate medication but also essential ‘wraparound’ services – would have a powerful impact on these devastating statistics and a transformational effect on quality of life.

A participant in the Middlesbrough HAT programme comments that he has tried all kinds of things over two decades, in and out of prison, and wasn’t expecting this to work ‘but then it was just unbelievable, how different it is.’ The GPs at their recent conference (page 12) also threw their weight behind this evidence-based harm reduction, so what are we waiting for?

See you at our conference on 18 March! 

Claire Brown, editor

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Keep in touch claire@cjwellings.com and @DDNmagazine