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Alcohol & Other Drugs, News & Media

Cranstoun Worcestershire leads way with heroin addiction treatment

Posted on: 17 August, 2021

Worcestershire’s substance misuse provider Cranstoun is the first in the country to offer a pilot scheme delivering a shared care model of Buvidal initiation and treatment, in partnership with Worcestershire County Council and our shared care GP surgeries.

Drug deaths in 2020 were the highest on record and the heroin market is long established and by far the largest drug market with an estimated £4 billion/year of revenue. At least 50% of serious acquisitive crime is driven by a drug addiction with just 10% of people who use drugs making up over 60% of the illegal market. Cranstoun believe that by supporting these individuals, we will help them to positively rebuild their lives but also reduce the cost, crime and harm to society associated with heroin addiction.

Buvidal, a medicine used to treat heroin addiction, is provided as a long-acting buprenorphine injection weekly or monthly, rather than a daily treatment and has already proved successful in a pilot scheme in Scotland benefitting service users with complex needs. Unlike methadone, Buvidal means that if an individual takes heroin on top of this treatment, it is unlikely to feel the effect of the opiates being taken. Therefore, it reduces the risk of overdoses and promotes progression to recovery.

The shared care pilot scheme launched in August with 3 participants receiving their first dose of Buvidal from Farrier Street Surgery. Cranstoun is really excited to see how this innovative solution can rebuild lives and empower people to make positive changes.

Megan Jones, Director of New Business and Services at Cranstoun, said: “Cranstoun is committed to developing and delivering world class services to help people rebuild their lives. We are continually working to reach the most vulnerable and developing innovative services to ensure we can support people who may previously have struggled to engage in treatment. Buvidal is a fantastic option for individuals, particularly for people who have not benefitted from other opiate substitute treatment and who find it challenging to achieve treatment stability. The result is a life saved and supported to be rebuilt and a reduction in cost, crime and harm to wider society.”

Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Karen May said: “We are delighted to support our commissioned drug and alcohol treatment service, Cranstoun, with an innovative new approach to delivering drug treatment in Worcestershire.

“This will be the first time that Buvidal has been used to treat opiate addiction in GP primary care in England. Cranstoun works in partnership with GP surgeries across the county so that drug treatment is easily accessible, even in our more rural areas.

“This treatment also provides an alternative for people who haven’t benefited from more traditional approaches such as methadone prescribing.  We hope they will be able to rebuild their lives and family relationships and become valued members of their community.” 

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