HC Deb 14 May 2003 vol 405 c315W
Ms Atherton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his Answer of 7 May 2003,Official Report, column 767W, on methadone overdose deaths, if he will make it his policy to ensure that all methadone prescriptions are taken under medical supervision. [113101]

Ms Blears

The Department of Health's 'Drug Misuse and dependence—guidelines on clinical management' (1999) states the following:

`Supervised consumption is recommended for new prescriptions for a minimum of three months, and should be relaxed only when the patient's compliance is assured. However, the need for supervised consumption should take into account the patient's social factors, such as employment and child care responsibilities. If supervised ingestion clashes with these and is still felt necessary, it must be made available at a time that allows the patient to attend without putting their job or families at risk.'