Dominic Raab, the new Justice Secretary will crackdown on drug addiction in jails and force them to give up heroin under strict supervision.

  • Dominic Raab expects to send convicts on abstinence based approach
  • As it stands, heroin addicts are given a substitute drug such as methadone
  • Raab says that the approach doesn’t work because drug addiction is more difficult to overcome.

Under proposals by the Justice Secretary, heroin addicts may be forced to stop using methadone cold turkey instead of being weaned from it.

Dominic Raab, who is expected to announce next week that convicts need to adopt an abstinence based approach to overcome concerns about current methadone treatment. 

As it stands, people addicted to heroin or other opiods can be given a substitute drug, such as methadone — which experts say is less deadly than heroin — to limit withdrawal side effects.

According to The Telegraph, Raab feels that too many prison inmates are taking methadone because they want to prevent them from causing injury to other prisoners or guards.

This is a result of Justice Data Lab’s finding that female prisoners who had completed abstinence programs were 40% less likely to reoffend than those who received other treatment for drug addiction.

However, it could be resisted as experts advise that methadone can be an effective treatment. 

Drug addiction in prison has been on the rise, with the think tank Reform estimating one in seven prisoners are addicts — rising from six per cent in 2014 to 15 per cent in 2019. 

Dominic Raab is next week expected to set out that convicts will have to take an abstinence-based approach over worries that currently prescribed drugs are leaving them reliant on another substance

Dominic Raab, who is expected to announce next week that convicts have to adopt an abstinence based approach due to concerns about whether their currently prescribed drugs make them dependent upon another substance.

Speaking to the Commons Justice Committee this week, where he hinted at the plans, Mr Raab said: ‘Too many offenders are placed on methadone and other opiate substitutes because it puts prevention of harm… to individual offenders, other offenders and prison officers at the forefront.

While it might work temporarily, methadone will be more difficult to stop than heroin. It’s addictive more than heroin. 

“You should ask them if they will continue to do it for an indefinite period of time, and how many are driving towards recovery. 

He stated that they wanted to find a balance.

Julie Muir is the executive director for recovery at Forward Trust. This charity helps addicts. She told the newspaper that abstinence-based programs are used inside and outside prisons. 

She stated that addiction is not an option and a grave mental illness. It can have a profound impact on the lives of people. 

“As society, we must do more to make sure everyone can recover from their past mistakes.

Release is a center for drug expertise. Niamh Westwood, the executive director, stated that abstinence played a part, but cautioned against undermining the importance of methadone. Multiple studies have shown it to be an effective treatment.

“Methadone has been shown to save thousands of lives.” This type of rhetoric doesn’t help to reduce deaths. In fact, it could lead to higher rates of death as communities take this signal as an indication from the Government that methadone shouldn’t be supported.