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Methadone therapy slashes drug crime

Prescribing methadone in general practice can slash crime committed by heroin misusers by almost two-thirds, Dr Jenny Keen has shown.

Dr Keen, clinical research fellow at the institute of general practice and primary care in Sheffield and a GP in the city, analysed the criminal records of the first 100 heroin users treated at her primary care clinic at presentation and one year after starting on meth-adone maintenance.

Convictions fell by 61 per cent and heroin use by 50 per cent in those still on treatment.

, according to results presented to an RCGP drug misuse conference last week.

Dr Keen said: 'I'm not just trying to be an arm of law enforcement. There's massive evidence methadone reduces crime levels when its prescribed by GPs - and there's not many things in general practice you can do that save more lives.'

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