'Cold turkey' prisoners win payouts

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Six prisoners and former convicts forced to go "cold turkey" to kick their addiction to heroin have won their fight for compensation from the Home Office.

Almost 200 former addicts are now in line for substantial payments after claiming the practice amounted to assault and breached their human rights.

The claimants said they had been undergoing alternative treatment before being sent to prison in the early 1990s, where their supply of methadone , the heroin substitute, was stopped.

The Home Office said it agreed to settle out of court reluctantly to "minimise costs to the taxpayer". The charity DrugScope said prisoners on methadone could suffer a relapse if they went through rapid detoxification.