Heroin on the NHS

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Dr Clive Froggatt was once called the most powerful GP in the UK, because he was an adviser to a succession of government health secretaries and the personal adviser of prime minister Margaret Thatcher. What people didn’t know, the government included, was that Froggatt was also a heroin addict. As he was a doctor however he didn’t use street heroin, but rather heroin in its pure form.

He uses this short documentary Heroin on the NHS to argue that when given a clean supply of the drug an addict can hide their addiction perfectly and function like a normal human being. When his addiction was discovered he lost everything, he was fired as an adviser and as a result lost his employment, his home, and saw his reputation tarnished. He subsequently took employment as a drugs counseller.

Froggatt argues that denying addicts heroin is like denying a diabetic insulin, and that Britain’s current drug policies are failing. He argues that it would cheaper for society to supply addicts with clean heroin than to pay the price for the crimes that many addicts undertake to fund their addictions. He also criticizes methadone which also swaps heroin addiction with methadone addiction, with almost all methadone addicts resigned to consuming methadone for life.

We meet an addict who has been prescribed heroin under a groundbreaking trial in which a few hundred addicts are prescribed heroin. She now runs a magazine for addicts and argues that with the worry and panic taken away from her drug use she is more productive and can use her time to work or to read a magazine rather than doing everything that she can to score a fix.

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