An alliance of influential charities has condemned a key government drugs strategy document, calling it an "ideological attack" on proven addiction treatments and "dangerously and deeply flawed" – reports Guardian. The NGOs warn that ministers will be putting lives at risk if proposed plans to push through "abstinence-based" approaches go ahead.
The group, including HIV/Aids charities Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) and the National Aids Trust (Nat), and Release have delivered a highly critical letter to drugs minister Lord Henley and the prime minister, David Cameron, warning that the "recovery roadmap" in the government's document Putting Full Recovery First would be "disastrous" for drug-dependent people.
The charities cite the low prevalence of HIV among the UK's 156,000 or so injecting drug users as evidence of the success of harm-reduction techniques. They also point to evidence showing the significance of needle/syringe programmes in bringing this about and to studies showing that substitute treatments reduce overdose rates.