Number of adults in contact with drug and alcohol treatment services in England is almost 290,000.¹
The pharmacist is required to supervise the consumption of a medicine prescribed to the patient, for the purposes of dependence and/or addiction to ensure the entire dose is taken as directed. Common medicines which may have to be supervised include methadone and buprenorphine.
Pharmacies can also provide harm reduction items such as clean needles, sharps bins, swabs and citric acid as well as sexual health advice. Any used equipment can be returned for destruction in a safe sharps disposal bin.
The aim of these services is to reduce the harms associated with drug taking to the service user and on the wider society. The service user will be given help, support and signposting to additional services in a non-judgemental and confidential service.
(1) National Treatment Agency, www.nta.nhs.uk/facts