Alliance’s prospective candidate for North Antrim has welcomed the Department of Health’s plans to introduce the use of substitute prescribing for heroin dependence in Northern Ireland.
Former Ballymena councillor, Jayne Dunlop, said that the use of methadone to treat heroin users was not a complete solution, as dedicated treatment facilities were also very necessary.
Jayne Dunlop said: “Ballymena has suffered more than most areas from the scourge of heroin, which has destroyed lives and families here for many years. At the moment, Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK without a methadone treatment programme, and while it isn’t a complete solution, it has the potential to help many users get off heroin.”
“If the Department agrees to substitute prescribing to treat heroin, it must be a supervised programme if it is to maximise public confidence in the treatment. In order to prevent the creation of a black market for methadone, administration should only be carried out in the presence of a suitably qualified person.”