Page last updated at 14:03 GMT, Thursday, 11 June 2009 15:03 UK

Drug centre trials new treatments

Generic drugs
Control of the budget will facilitate local solutions to local problems

Drug workers in Leicester have been given the power to decide how to spend £4m a year, instead of being told what to do by the government.

Workers want to see an increase in the use of alternative treatments such as aromatherapy and acupuncture to help addicts.

The two-year trial in the city will allow drug workers to help more users.

Drugs team worker Bernadette Walton said they wanted treatments to be more effective and better value for money.

Ms Walton said a wide range of options were available to deal with users' problems.

She said: "We'll be able to look across the board from the criminal justice system, the prison system and in the community and look at what the actual needs are.

Alternative therapies

"We'll be looking at using some of the therapies that we use in the community at the moment in the custodial setting as well, such as aromatherapy, acupuncture and hypnotherapy, because as we've seen, the profile of drug users is changing."

Ms Walton said there were benefits in alternative therapies which worked alongside conventional medical intervention.

"Those [alternative] treatments are really good with the stimulant type drugs such as cocaine and crack.

"The complimentary therapies certainly help in getting people off drugs, as we've seen in a community setting."

A team of nine drug workers going to the Download Festival at Donington Park at the weekend.

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