HC Deb 23 April 1996 vol 276 c105W
Mr. Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on deaths from methadone in each of the past five years. [26435]

Mr. Bowis

Methadone is an established substitute drug therapy used internationally to treat people who are opiate dependent. The latest available information on deaths related to drug misuse covering a five-year period is given in the 1994 Home Office Statistical Bulletin "Statistics of Drug Addicts Notified to the Home Office, United Kingdom", 1994, copies of which are available in the Library. The task force set up to review the effectiveness of drug treatment services has examined methadone treatment in detail. We shall publish the report shortly and issue guidance to health authorities later this summer.

We issued guidelines on clinical management' to all doctors in 1991 which provided advice on assessing and reviewing a patient's drug problem, including prescribing where appropriate. Copies of the guidelines are available in the Library.

Methadone dispensed for consumption at home, as with any other medicine, should be stored securely and kept out of the reach of children.


1Drug Misuse and Dependence: Guidelines on Clinical Management: Report of a Medical Working Group: London: HMSO: 1991: ISBN 011 321376 X.

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