Heroin addicts ‘let down by healthcare’

Heroin users in Sweden are not getting the treatment they need, with nine out of ten local authorities not providing adequate specialist care, according to a critical new report.

Two counties – Jämtland and Blekinge – have no specialist treatment at all for heroin addicts.

“Where this kind of treatment it exists at all, it is generally well-functioning and professional,” said Johan Carlsson, head of the National Board of Health and Welfare’s inspection division to Sveriges Radio.

“The problem is that many local authorities have not faced up to their responsibilities, have not assessed the need for this kind of care, and have no plans, directives or follow up for treatment of this patient group,” he added.

According to the report, care for heroin addicts in half of all local authorities does not meet the government’s minimum requirements.