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Scotland’s first heroin treatment clinic

The £1.2m Enhanced Drug Treatment Service (EDTS) is the first in Scotland and the second in the UK.

The pilot scheme aims to treat 20 patients with the most severe, long-standing and complex addictions in its first year, and 40 in the second year.

It is hoped the facility will help reduce street drug use, overdose deaths and the spread of HIV in the city.

The first patients are expected to start the treatment with diamorphine, the clinical name for pharmaceutical grade heroin, at the end of the year.

They will have to attend the clinic, which has been licensed by the Home Office, twice a day, every day.

A prescription for a diamorphine injection will be given for patients to administer themselves under the strict supervision of clinical staff.

The patients will also receive healthcare such as psychological support and treatment for infections or abscesses, and will be helped to access social care services.

A spokesman for Glasgow's Health and Social Care Partnership's (GCHSCP) said EDTS would focus on people whose addictions most severely affected their own health, and had the worst impact on their communities, public services and the city centre.

Those selected for treatment will already be involved with Glasgow's Homeless Addiction Team and have received conventional treatments, which can include methadone, community addictions services and residential rehabilitation.

Record death rate
Last year it was estimated that Glasgow had 13,600 problem drug users, costing NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde more than £29m.

Drug-related deaths in Scotland soared to 1,187 in 2018, a record level and the highest reported rate per head of population in the EU.

A heroin-assisted treatment facility in Middlesbrough, on Teesside, opened last month as the first of its kind in the UK.

Similar schemes in Vancouver and Zurich have shown that patients can gradually progress from diamorphine injections to oral treatments, allowing more patients to be treated at the clinic.

Dr Saket Priyadarshi, associate medical director at Glasgow Alcohol and Drug Recovery Services, said it was a much-needed addition to the treatment and care services already in Glasgow.

"We have known for a number of years that there are people who continue to experience harm despite receiving conventional treatment.

"It is only appropriate that, as in other branches of medicine, we can offer addictions patients the next line in treatment.

"Heroin-assisted treatment is a highly evidence-based intervention and it will be delivered with intensive psycho-social support to address the wide range of harm and social care needs that this population experiences."

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Source: BBC News, 27/11/19 

Posted by on 11/27 at 02:34 PM in
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