Methadone
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Methadone addict: 'Doctor said I'll be on it for life'

It has been estimated that the cost to society of treating addicts with drug substitutes like methadone in England alone is £3.6bn a year, when benefits and care for children is taken into account. Around 150,000 people are on a methadone treatment programme in the UK right now.

Critics of the methadone treatment programme say all it does is replace an illegal addiction with a legal one and that many users are dependent on the drug for years.

Supporters say as its dispensed in a non-injectable form its better for the health of addicts, protects society from infection and takes the need away for stealing or committing crime to buy drugs.

Martin Duffy was prescribed methadone for 10 years. He told BBC Radio 5 live's Tony Livesey "the doctor told me I would be on methadone for life" and "I gave up on life".

  • 21 May 2013