Friday, 22 November 2013

Shanghai courts finds lax supervision allows methadone diversion


A Shanghai court has sentenced a drug addict to seven years in prison for selling the methadone he received in a public drug treatment program to other addicts.
The case was one of 19 that the district court dealt with from July to September that involved addicts reselling their drug treatment medication, according to a court press release.
There are about 14 community hospitals in the city, including one in Huangpu district, that treat drug addicts with methadone, said Tang Zhengming, a press officer for the Huangpu District People's Court.
The defendant, surnamed Chen, 35, was charged with drug trafficking for selling the methadone, which is a synthetic opioid used to ease the withdrawal symptoms of patients recovering from an addiction to drugs such as heroin, according to the press release.
Police arrested Chen on June 16 after he tried to sell 313.56 grams of methadone to a drug addict for 300 yuan ($49).
The court blamed the methadone trafficking problem on lax supervision by the doctors who prescribe and administer the drug.
It advised treatment facilities to assign at least two doctors to supervise patients while they are taking the drug. It also advised doctors to do a better job prescribing an appropriate amount of methadone to their patients. 
Source: Global Times

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