NHS drug clinics are looking to radically transform the UK’s drug prevention strategy; one part of this involves offering financial incentives to heroin users. The groundbreaking study will see 33 NHS and voluntary clinics give out £10 shopping vouchers to users of opiate drugs (including heroin) who can provide clean samples of urine at their weekly meeting with key workers.
The idea for this came after a similar trial proved successful. The separate study found that when heroin addicts were offered financial incentives as encouragement to be vaccinated for hepatitis B (HBV), there was a ‘striking’ increase in uptake.
The research is being carried out by experts from three London universities and is being led by current and former advisors to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Professor John Strang from the National Addiction Centre at King’s College London led the previous trial and accepts that some people may find the idea controversial,