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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 10:13 GMT 11:13 UK
Town is named cheapest for heroin
Heroin generic

Drugs workers insist progress is being made in a town, despite it being named again as the cheapest place in Britain to buy illegal drugs.

Charity DrugScope found Middlesbrough was the cheapest for heroin - 5 for 0.2 of a gram, compared to the most expensive in Belfast at 100 a gram.

Last year, the charity found it was the cheapest place to buy cocaine.

DrugScope said the low price was due to the town being perhaps a transit point for drugs in the north-east of England.

However, Dave Jackson, of the Safer Middlesbrough Partnership, which deals with drug, alcohol and crime issues in the town, said one factor in driving down prices was actually the effectiveness of drugs treatment programmes in the town.

Treatment access

Mr Jackson said the Partnership worked closely with other organisations and there were detailed programmes to deal with local issues. He said there were more people having treatment and it was becoming more effective.

He added the price of drugs was not a simple issue and more research was being done into it.

"It's not a simple answer around just the price. Some of the factors that come into price are things such as deprivation, such as the availability, the supply," he said.

"The availability and supply, yes that can mean that there are quite a few drugs on the streets, but it can also mean that if you have very good quality treatment services that people are not willing to pay more for their drugs."

He said if people had easy access to treatment, and there were people selling drugs at high prices, people could choose to go and receive their methadone treatment instead, and that knocked down the price of drugs.




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