§ Mr. Ian Stewart
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, whether he will consider including barbiturates in the Misuse of Drugs Act.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
I have been asked to reply.
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs considered this matter in 1972, and concluded that there would be difficulties in controlling the use of barbiturates by legislative means and that voluntary methods should be tried. Discussions with the medical profession led to the initiation in 1975 of the Campaign on the Use and Restriction of Barbiturates (CURB) with the aims of persuading the medical profession voluntarily to reduce the prescribing of barbiturates and of educating public opinion. The campaign was concluded in 1977. It is too soon to evaluate the results fully but preliminary indications appear encouraging.