Home Department written question – answered on 21st January 2002.

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Photo of Mr Bill Tynan Mr Bill Tynan Labour, Hamilton South

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many heroin addicts are on the methadone programme in (a) Scotland, (b) England, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland; what the financial cost is of the programme in each country; and how many deaths have occurred while addicts are on a methadone programme in each country in each of the last three years.

Photo of Hazel Blears Hazel Blears Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

I have been asked to reply.

Since the Home Office addicts index closed in 1997, the regional drug misuse databases (RDMDs) have been the main source of information on persons presenting to drug treatment services with a drug problem. During the six month period ending 30 September 2000, around 21,200 people were reported to the RDMDs in England as presenting for treatment, with heroin recorded as their main drug of misuse. Around 6,200 of these people were reported as being prescribed methadone for treatment at the time they presented; other heroin users may subsequently have been prescribed methadone.

In terms of financial costs, in 2001 the net ingredient cost (the basic cost of the drug, excluding dispensing cost, fees or prescription charges income) of methadone for use in substance dependence is £6.87 per preparation.

The number of deaths in England and Wales where methadone was mentioned on death certificates in 1999 were 298.

Information relating to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a matter for the devolved Assemblies.

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