Drug treatments

It is remarkable that the group of experts writing in defence of methadone (Letters, 5 April) did not try to clinch the argument by quoting statistics demonstrating the effectiveness of methadone.

Simple figures such as the number of addicts benefiting from the schemes who are now "clean", or are at least in rehab, or the (apparently vast) numbers who are leading "otherwise normal lives".

Does that mean a normal working life, or a "normal" life on benefits? Surely there is some objective measure of success beyond anecdote and mere assertion?

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Is it not time to challenge the orthodoxy that giving up heroin or methadone completely is just too horrible to ask of addicts? It looks as if the problem may be the low expectations of medical and other staff who deal with addicts.


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Brightons, Falkirk