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Page last updated at 16:25 GMT, Thursday, 15 January 2009

'Give addicts heroin'

Allister Craddock
Politics Show East Midlands

A Derby father, who lost his son through heroin abuse, says he believes addicts should be given the drug free.

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A father whose son died from Heroin abuse campaigns for Britain to follow the lead of Switzerland and set up special centres where addicts are given Heroin for free.

David Culm wants to see Britain adopt a scheme that operates in Switzerland, where addicts are given heroin at special centres under close supervision.

He says his son, Neil, died after years of addiction to hard drugs.

And he believes his son might be alive today had the Swiss scheme been in operation here.

A huge majority of Swiss voters backed the special centres in a national referendum on 30 November 2008.

Inside a Swiss heroin clinic

Three similar schemes, so called "shooting galleries", are currently being piloted in London, Darlington and Brighton to see how they might work.

Former police chief backing

The former Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire, Tom Lloyd, believes we should follow Switzerland's lead.

"They treat addicts as patients with a medical condition rather than law breakers," he says.

David Calum says the result is that there has been a 60% reduction in heroin-related crime.

SWISS HEROIN PROGRAMME
Running since 1994
Used by 1,300 addicts
Includes 23 centres nationwide
Also offers psychiatric counseling

There are thought to be more than 15,000 heroin users in the East Midlands. But only about half are receiving treatment.

Would you welcome the chance to vote on a Swiss-style scheme here?

Does it offer a humane way forward?

If not, what do you think the government should do? Send us you thoughts in the e-mail form below...

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