High-level Criticism of Methadone Maintenance as "An Easy Option" (UK):
A BBC headline reads, “Prisoners' heroin addiction treatment 'undermined'; heroin addiction is being tackled using methadone as a substitute. The story attributes to “former drugs czar” Mike Trace the view that “prisoners were being prescribed the addictive heroin substitute methadone instead of being encouraged to get drug free“. It quotes Mr. Trace as follows: "When they (inmates) see the healthcare professionals they are offered, sometimes the only choice they are offered, is a prescription of some type, which means their motivation to try to remain drug-free can be undermined.”
Mr. Trace’s criticism is echoed by shadow home secretary Dominic Grieve, whom the article quotes as stating, “ … what is happening is that effectively the prison service has become content in doling out methadone as an alternative to tackling the underlying problems these people have - it's quite wrong."
One must wonder about the evidence that is the basis for this criticism against methadone treatment – criticism that, of course, applies no more and no less to the prison environment than to the general community. Regardless of setting, relapse to opiate use is the overwhelming rule rather than the exception once abstinence is achieved, regardless what types of services are – and are not – available.
(check out the original story online by clicking here