Trials of Prescription Diamorphine (Heroin) In Scotland

Those living in Glasgow with a dependence to the drug Heroin in are set to be offered a prescription of heroin in a specialized clinic run by the National Health Service. 

Glasgow and the rest of Scotland has been hit with some of the worst drug deaths over the last few decades. 


Although the idea of people receiving free heroin may seem a rather left-field approach to the lay person trying to understand Substance Use Disorder, this isn’t the first time it’s an approach been taken to help those most vulnerable to dependence.  In London, pilot programmes have been run under the radar in boroughs such as Southwark.

Diamorphine is Cheap

Surprisingly, this may shock you to learn that prescription based diamorphine (which is actually heroin, heroin is actually an old trademark name for diamorphine). Whilst street sourced heroin is one of the most expensive illicit drugs when manufactured legally it does not cost much to produce.   Although still toxic and likely to cause overdose in some cases, it does not contain additives that can be extremely harmful to those affected by dependence to the drug.  

Is Recovery Possible?

If an individual is struggling with chaotic drug use, it can be worsened by using street drugs obtained illicitly.  The drugs bought on the streets can contain additives that put people at serious threat of damaging their health and their life furthermore. This then burdens the NHS and criminal justice system with unnecessary harm and can put those do not have a substance use disorder at risk also. 

If a person affected by a substance use disorder can enter into a program where they can stabilize their drug use and become more aware of options available to them then they can eventually enter into recovery from drugs.


The argument put forward against supporting people through alcohol and substance use disorders is that these individuals choose their life style and must suffer the consequences of their decisions. However, over time we’ve seen that addiction is a disease of choice, these affected individuals don’t chose to be completely marginalized by society, to lose their family, their health and their lives. For certain bio(genetic) psycho (mental) social (families, peers, networks) the disease of addiction has manifested in their lives.

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1 Comment

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