This from yesterday's Daily Record (Scotland):
29 May 2006
FEARS OVER ANTI-OD DRUG FOR ADDICTS
Help them quit, say MSPs
By Carolyn Churchill
MSPs fear that plans to hand out anti-overdose drugs to heroin addicts could send the wrong message to users.
Drug workers hope to cut the soaring number of overdose deaths by distributing Naloxene to addicts, their families and friends.
The plan is to save more lives by making sure the drug can be given quickly.
But SNP deputy justice spokesman Stewart Stevenson said: "We must be very careful to couple this with appropriate counselling and support, to ensure that users realise this is not a substitute for abstinence."
And Tory MSP Bill Aitken added: "I am far from satisfied that this is a safe procedure.
"Am I naive in thinking the message should be, 'Stay off drugs'? It should not be that if you self-harm, help is at hand."
Figures released on May 16 revealed that 82 people have died from overdoses in Strathclyde alone so far this year, compared to 48 in the same period in 2005. Police blame a rise in the purity of heroin on the streets.
If drug regulators approve, Naloxene could soon be distributed under pilot schemes in Lanarkshire and Glasgow.
Colin Sloey, chairman of Lanarkshire's Alcohol and Drugs Action Team, said: "This scheme has the potential to save lives that could otherwise be needlessly lost."
And Ellen Donnelly, of the Scottish Network of Families Affected by Drugs, said: "It's great that they are doing this. I'm sure it would be welcomed by all parents."
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