Cost of prescribing drug substitutes rises to over £80,000

The cost of treating drug addiction on the Island is rising, with over £80,000 spent on drug substitutes last year.

The Department of Health and Social Care prescribed £82,729.30 worth of methodone and other drug substitutes during the 2016-17 financial year.

The Department released details relating to five substances, all but one of which saw increased usage compared with the year before.

The total spend is over £7,000 more than in the previous 12 months, with buprenorphine and naloxone making up over £63,000 of the cost.

The increase is due to more patients registering to use the substitutes, as 142 people were prescribed Opiate Replacement Medication in October last year - up from 122 in the previous November.

Since 2013, almost 21,000 drug substitute items have been prescribed, costing more than £300,000.