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Paisley MSP George Adam shocked at methadone costs in Renfrewshire

George Adam MSP A PAISLEY MSP last night insisted his own government must rethink how they tackle drug addiction after a shocking report revealed how much methadone programmes are costing in Renfrewshire.

 

SNP member George Adam, who represents the town at Holyrood, issued a passionate response to questions about money being spent on the controversial heroin substitute.

 

It followed publication of the results of an investigation by the Daily Record which revealed that £36million was being spent each year on the prescribed drug nationally.

 

The Record, which is published alongside the Paisley Daily Express, yesterday produced a five-page report on the controversial scheme operated by NHS Scotland.

 

 

Among the top 10 pharmacies for earnings from providing methadone services was one in Paisley. The Lloyds Pharmacy branch in High Street raked in a staggering £90,000 last year.

 

Mr Adam said: “I am shocked to learn Paisley has such an expensive methadone problem and I think it is now time to look at the way we are tackling drug addiction, because something is clearly not working.

 

“I’m reading stories about people who have been on methadone for 30 years and asking myself  ‘What good is that doing anyone?’

 

“If someone is on methadone for that long, something isn’t working in the system and that is what we absolutely must address and have a clear goal of ‘clean living’ when drug-users are off it altogether in the same way an alcoholic wouldn’t drink.”

 

Mr Adam, whose wife Stacey has MS, also believes that the queues of recovering addicts on the methadone programme each day have made Paisley pharmacies intimidating places for patients to visit.

 

He added: “It’s the elderly and unwell folk that I feel sorry for the most, because they need to use these pharmacies too and these people are there waiting for their methadone.

 

“I’m six-foot three and I can find it quite intimidating at times, so what must an older person feel like waiting for a prescription?

 

“I feel passionately about this because I’m talking from the heart and I see my wife, living with MS through no fault of her own, or others who have fallen ill through no fault of their own, needing the support of the health service while there are people on the methadone programme for decades, costing millions of pounds.

 

“I also know from living in the town that some of these people on the programme are simply using the methadone as a top-up for their other drugs and that completely defeats the purpose in the first place.

 

“I’m not saying the methadone programme doesn’t work but we need to have some sort of limit, because staying on the same programme with no real progress for four, five or six years is not on.”

 

Lloyds Pharmacy referred the Express calls to Community Pharmacy Scotland, which represents chemists in Scotland.

 

A spokesman said: “We support the Scottish Government’s strategy The Road to Recovery, which promotes a holistic approach encompassing both maintenance of drug abusers and providing more focus on detoxification and rehabilitation.

 

“Community Pharmacy Scotland has put forward proposals that would see the methadone maintenance programme currently used with significant success taken forward to provide a greater emphasis on detoxification.”

Article curtesy of the Paisley Daily Express.

 

Fuel Poverty Boost as Boiler Scrappage Scheme is Extended!

George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, has welcomed the news of a record 35% increase of funding to target fuel poverty and energy efficiency.

George said, “By 2015, the Scottish Government will be spending £66.25million to help fight fuel poverty and increase energy efficiency. At this time of year, heating our homes becomes far too costly for many in our town. This is not helped by rising costs which the main energy companies are charging every one of us.

’While the UK Government continues to dilly-dally over what to do to, the Scottish Government is taking decisive action to help the people of Paisley and Scotland. In addition, there will is a £5million boost for the Energy Assistance Package scheme will also provide vital additional help through the forthcoming months, helping replace inefficient central heating systems – and with £1.5million more going towards the successful Boiler Scrappage Scheme, this will help target private landlords .

’If this announcement wasn’t good enough, everyone in receipt of Carers Allowance is eligible for the Energy Assistance Package scheme – this will mean an extra 7,000 people across the country in line for help heating their homes.

’I believe whole-heartedly that the Scottish Government is and will continue to act on the issues which affect the people of Paisley.”

Additional Information

Fuel poverty is defined as spending 10 per cent or more of household income on domestic fuel bills.

Scottish government Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency programmes will receive £65million in 2012-13 and in 2013-14, rising to £66.25million in 2014-15, representing a 35 per cent increase on the original £48million budget in 2011-12. The £48million includes £12.5 million for the Universal Home Insulation Scheme, £2.5million for the boiler scrappage scheme and the balance for the Energy Assistance Package and Fuel Poverty measures.

MSP Delighted by the Local Uptake of the Small Business Bonus

George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, has spoken about the many local businesses continuing to benefit from the Small Business Bonus (SBB). George said, “The Scottish Government has recently published figures showing the number of small to medium sized enterprises which are in receipt of the Small Business Bonus. This a scheme set up by the SNP to help give relief to these types of businesses in this economically harsh time.

‘The Scottish Government has made a huge effort to help small – not just through this scheme but also through making it much easier for small and medium sized firms to bid for public contracts – and simply underlines how much more we could do to help business if we had full economic powers.

‘In Renfrewshire, 2,258 companies are receiving the SBB, which in total equates to £4,009,937 in relief. These figures have steadily increased since the scheme was introduced in 2008, when 1,797 Renfrewshire companies first took up this offer. This scheme has proved to be very attractive to local businesses and it will continue under this SNP Government.

‘These figures are truly great news and I would urge any owner of a small to medium size business, which is not already in receipt of the SBB, to apply for it.”
You can get more factual info on the SBBS here