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Coalition will cut drug substitutes bill in radical plan to encourage freedom from addiction

By Tim Montgomerie

TIMESADDICTSThe Times (£) leads with the news that drug treatment providers will be incentivised to get addicts off drugs and drug substitutes altogether. The overall aim is to get 200,000 people drug-free.

The prevailing policy under previous governments was to minimise the harm to the person and society of an addiction but not to end that addiction. This policy has led to a massive increase in the prescription of 'safe drugs' like Methadone but as an increasing number of reports demonstrate, heroin substitutes like Methadone now account for one-third of drug-related deaths in Scotland.

“We are looking to have greater emphasis on recovery rather than simply on treatment itself,” Home Office Minister James Brokenshire told The Times. “The aim is to get people clear of addiction.” He said that Methadone should be used by doctors and treatment agencies as a pathway towards complete freedom from addiction and not as a safer form of new addiction.

Policy Exchange research earlier this year noted that one-in-six prisoners are receiving drug substitutes. That, noted the research's author Max Chambers, is equivalent to "an estimated 73,000 prisoners over the course of a year whose drug habits are effectively being maintained by the state." He urged that freedom from addiction should become a condition of parole.

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