Intended for healthcare professionals

Research News

More non-opiate users complete treatment but heroin users’ health worsens, review finds

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j496 (Published 30 January 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j496

Re: More non-opiate users complete treatment but heroin users’ health worsens, review finds

Overall this review by Public Health England is to be welcomed as it draws attention to the many lives cut short not only by heroin use but the inadequate response to these individuals health needs.
But it is odd that despite the significant rise in demand for treatment where cannabis is the primary problem this substance is barely mentioned in the review (1). While in the main cannabis doesn't kill it is clear that there are thousands of people experiencing problems. These individuals and the health care workers who come into contact with them are not helped by the lack of evidence for what works for cannabis problems such as dependency. As with addiction the first step to remedying this is to acknowledge the problem sadly Public Health England appear to be in denial.

References
1. Monaghan, M., Hamilton, I., Lloyd, C. and Paton, K., 2016. Cannabis matters? Treatment responses to increasing cannabis presentations in addiction services in England. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 23(1), pp.54-61.

Competing interests: No competing interests

30 January 2017
Ian Hamilton
Lecturer
University of York
Health Sciences University of York York, YO10 5DD