Letter: Nothing chic about heroin

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Sir: Treatment for drug use is one sure way of reducing public expenditure (Letters, 22 May). It reduces crime, improves health and provides positive role models to influence continuing misusers.

One obstacle in the present purchaser/provider system of both health and social care is the division in purchasing between health authorities and local authorities. Another is the short-term attitude of many health authorities, who continue the policy of buying detoxification without the vital overlapping treatment necessary to effect a profound change in a state of mind.

The result is a wasteful revolving door of relapse and further detoxification.

The first ukase from the new drug tsar should be to end that division and to order realistic reassessment of the total expenditure throughout his or her imperial domain.

NICK BARTON

Chairman

European Association for the Treatment of Addiction (UK)

London SE11

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