Drug users in Scunthorpe area being weaned off methadone more quickly
DRUG users in North Lincolnshire are being weaned off methadone more quickly as a result of a review into North Lincolnshire's prescribing and dispensing procedures.
A review was launched into the region's procedures surrounding the dispensing of methadone following an inquest.
At the time, Coroner Paul Kelly said that "the community is awash with methadone". Now those responsible for carrying out the review say improvements are being made.
Work with drug users is now centred around their recovery – and it is this focus which officials say is helping wean addicts off methadone more quickly than before.
During 2010/11, 45 people successfully completed drug treatment. But in 2011/12, this increased to 98 users – and in the 2012/13 year-to-date, there have been 69 planned exits, which is again above the trend before the review was launched.
Stuart Minto, head of safer neighbourhoods at North Lincolnshire Council, said: "Following the recommendations from the coroner, we put together a process to look at what we were currently doing and we have made some changes across the board in terms of service. The process is a multi- agency care plan and we have new contractual services which make sure we are responsible for training and updating the process for dispensing methadone.
"Currently, the percentage of opiate users completing treatment is better than 2011/12 and we are in the top quartile range for non-opiate users successfully completing treatment."
Mr Minto said the coroner's comments led to the drugs service focusing on the recovery process – to get more than 900 service users out of drug treatment and into training and jobs.
Mr Minto said although there was an increase in the number of people receiving drug treatment, there was also a number of people coming off drugs altogether.
He said: "There is a new national strategy about care plans designed to get people into the system and out again quickly and we are doing extremely well in relation to that process – it is growing above the national average."
For help and advice on drug use, call 01724 275371