The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs have responded to the increase in opioid related deaths in the UK in the last set of recorded figures in 2015 with some recommendations for the Home Secretary. A new Drug Strategy was expected this year but this has been delayed and is expected early next year. Some of the key points made by the ACMD are as follows:
- Central and local governments continue to invest in high-quality Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST = methadone, buprenorphine etc) of optimal dosage and duration, delivered together with interventions to help people achieve wider recovery outcomes including health and well-being, in order to continue to reduce rates of Drug Related Deaths (DRD)
- Drug treatment services should follow national clinical guidelines on OST and provide tailored treatment for individuals for as long as required.
- Central government funding should be provided to support heroin-assisted treatment for patients for whom other forms of OST have not been effective.
- That naloxone is made available routinely, cheaply and easily to people who use opioids, and to their families and friends.
The full report can be read here.