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Prison Drug Treatments

Home Department written question – answered on 29th April 2004.

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Photo of John Mann John Mann Labour, Bassetlaw

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisons are using (a) naltraxone, (b) methadone and (c) subutex as part of their drug treatment.

Photo of Paul Goggins Paul Goggins Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office

The Prison Service does not routinely collect the information requested. However, it is estimated that naltrexone, an abstinence-based treatment, is currently available in around 50 establishments for men and one for women. Methadone maintenance is available in the majority of establishments for women but is not yet widely used in men's prisons.

Subutex (buprenorphine) is included in the treatment protocols developed in conjunction with NHS services at eight establishments for men. Every establishment for women has the capacity to prescribe subutex but few do so at present because methadone is considered to meet most prisoners' needs. Subutex would, however, be made available to any woman already being prescribed it when received into custody.

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