OPEN LETTER TO JACK STRAW ON HEROIN
To Paddy Tipping MP, Vernon Coaker MP:
I was taken completely aback this morning when I read in the Times that Jack Straw wants to give heroin addicts heroin, on the NHS. How about giving alcoholics who cannot stop drinking free vodka!!.
A recidivist alcoholic offender commits just as much (perhaps more) crime if we take into account domestic violence. I am informed by the parole board that an recidivist alcoholic costs £120,000 (without free vodka) for the State to maintain. The crime they commit is on top of this.
Of course both of these suggestions are a complete nonsense. I am surprised that Jack fell for such a stupid idea. The following are just some of the reasons why it must not be done.
- To give someone a deadly drug such as this without a therapeutic reason runs directly against the Hippocratic oath and no self respecting doctor would become involved with such a scheme.
- Part of the Governments' rationale for our boys giving up their lives in Afghanistan it to stop the heroin production which has crippled the West.
- It is unlawful under the HRA1998 to cause harm to someone in the interests of another. This cannot be avoided
- This policy runs directly against the new NTA/NHS ethos to move towards Recovery Oriented treatment systems for dependents.
- The addicts in question can be successfully treated to live clean and sober for a fraction of the cost of yearly heroin injections of £15,000
- It would be unlawful to waste taxpayers money on this in the absence of the addicts having been offered abstinence based treatment
- The open ended liability for Doctors to be pursued for medical negligence for administering a potentially lethal drug with horrendous side effects without a therapeutic reason would be enormous. I can't believe Jack has made such a blunder. He needs to backtrack quickly.
- Once it became known that free heroin was available on HM Governments' expense there would be an escalation of addicts using less harmful drugs in order in order to get high at the taxpayers expense.
I would be pleased if you could place a copy of this letter upon Jack Straws' desk.
ADDICTION TODAY COMMENT
It has been claimed in justification that the “cost of the genuine stuff is less than the crime committed…”
Ignoring whether or not this is provable, the cost of someone going to rehab or day programme (based on 12 steps which leads to free aftercare) and thus becoming drug-free can vary from £2,000-£6,000 for a one-off stay. Compare this to £15,000 a year for anything up to 25-30 years for heroin or just over £2,000 a year for methadone multiplied by 25-30 years. And that’s without the cost of psychosocial support to change.
If the cost of heroin (£15,000×25 years=£375,000 per user – multiplied by existing users plus all the users who will jump on the bandwagon of free heroin, plus black-marketeers) is so acceptable, why is the fraction of this cost to achieve freedom from drugs not implemented?
What is the ideology and financial gain behind the thinking of implementing expensive prescriptions which do not get people off drugs?