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Drugs: Misuse

Health written question – answered on 10th January 2008.

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Photo of Adrian Sanders Adrian Sanders Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to receive the report into the findings of the National Treatment Agency survey into drug treatment projects.

Photo of Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo Minister of State (Department of Health) (Public Health)

We have received the report from the survey of drug treatment prescribing services, independently undertaken by the Central Office of Information, on behalf of the Department and National Treatment Agency (NTA) for substance misuse. The NTA published the results from the report on 14 December 2007.

The results provide a robust representation of treatment services.

The results of the survey were published alongside a detailed statement from the Clinical Guidelines on Drug Misuse and Dependence Update 2007 Working Group. The chair of the working group summarised the message of the statement as follows:

"The objective in prescribing is to give the patient the right medication at a dose that produces the greatest therapeutic benefit, without incurring unnecessary risk of harm. It is inappropriate for medications to be used as a reward, or to be withheld, or dose reduced solely as a punishment or sanction. Our new guidelines clarify this beyond doubt."

A full copy of the Audit of Prescribing Practitioners Summary Report has been placed in the Library.

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