This study aimed to assess the current level of amphetamine prescribing for adults in drug services in the West and East Midlands. A questionnaire was developed to investigate prescribing habits and attitudes, and was addressed to the senior member of staff in each drug service within the West and East Midlands area.
A total of 41 services were identified, and 29 questionnaires were returned (a 71% response rate). Of the services that replied, 20 (69%) prescribed amphetamines, with 132 (12%) patients identified as amphetamine misusers currently receiving a prescription. However, 26 (90%) services felt that substitute prescribing did have a role in a comprehensive service for this group.
Although amphetamine prescribing has been shown to reduce both criminal and injecting behaviour, only two-thirds of the local services prescribe such drugs, with a small percentage of amphetamine users receiving a prescription. There is a need for a national consensus about substitute prescribing of amphetamines and increased flexibility within drug services when managing the problem.
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