Methadone Discursive Essay

Topics: Heroin, Drug addiction, Morphine Pages: 4 (1694 words) Published: November 9, 2008
“Express your views on some important social issue about which you have strong views.”

It is shocking to hear that “giving methadone to heroin addicts has a 97% failure rate.”(1) I was extremely surprised to hear this because I thought and was made to believe that after a few years methadone would completely stop addicts taking heroin. Infact in the same study by Scotland’s leading drug experts it emerged that there was a “29% success rate among addicts who went ‘cold turkey’ in a rehabilitation centre”(1). Clearly the way forward is to build more rehabilitation centres and get this success rate higher. So why is this not happening? If such serious problems, which are having a big impact on Scotland today are to be resolved we need to address the need for rehabilitation centres, improve the help that the NHS and the Government are giving out and why the problems concerning heroin and methadone are now getting out of hand. Methadone has been used since the 1980’s in Scotland as a controlled and supposedly safe heroin substitute. Although the fact that it is actually not making much difference to heroin addicts is causing much concern. The programme “costs around £12m a year” and is becoming a very “controversial” topic. (1) I would argue that there is no point in it if it is only helping 3% of addicts after 3 years. Surely this large sum of money could be spent more efficiently and effectively on more rehabilitation centres. Undoubtedly people who are off drugs do a lot better in life and are much less likely to avoid lives of crime and unemployment. “Only 13% of those who were drug-free admitted to committing any crime. The figure for those who were on drugs was a staggering 91%.” (1) It is my firm belief that the NHS and the government are not doing enough to help people who are addicted to drugs, so I would argue that they have to seriously re-think their strategies....

Bibliography: 1. Scotland on Sunday article “Methadone fails 97% of drug addicts” – Sunday 29 October 2006
2. Scotsman article “‘Black cloud’ of methadone use that threatens the welfare of children.” – Monday 23 July 2007
3. BBC News “A little boy who was found dead in his bed had drunk the heroin substitute methadone” – Sunday 5 March 2006
4. BBC News “The number of people treated for heroin addiction has reached record levels, according to figures.”
5. BBC News “Huge rise in Scottish drug deaths” – Thursday 30 August 2007
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