Prisoners: Methadone

House of Lords written question – answered on 28th February 2011.

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Photo of Lord Ashcroft Lord Ashcroft Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many prisoners are being prescribed methadone.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Data are not collected centrally on the number of prisoners receiving methadone prescriptions. However, data are available on the combined total of substitution treatments for both methadone and buprenorphine for treating heroin dependence in prisons. In 2009-10 there were 60,067 treatments, of which 36,323 were detoxifications and 23,744 were longer-term maintenance treatments. The data show the number of treatments prescribed but not actual prisoner numbers.

Information on actual prisoner numbers receiving methadone prescriptions is available from spot survey data. The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse and the Department applied to the Review of Central Returns to collect these data last year. Data collection will begin shortly, and this information will be available later in the year.

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