Index of drug addicts to go

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The Independent Online
Doctors will no longer be legally bound to inform the Home Office when they treat drug addicts, ministers have announced. The Home Office minister Tom Sackville is to call on Parliament to abolish the Addicts Index, which ensures statistics on drug use are kept up to date. Drug abuse pressure groups claim the system has collapsed because doctors are too busy to fill in the forms. The Government plans to close the Addicts Index at the end of March.

Mr Sackville said: "Reliance for information on the nature of drug misuse will henceforward rest mainly on the Department of Health's Regional Drug Misuse Databases." The new system will not lessen the fight against drugs, Mr Sackville pledged.