A growing heroin problem in Middlesbrough, North East England, has raised concerns that the town is becoming a hub for heroin in the United Kingdom.

The Middlesbrough heroin problem is starting to draw in addicts from other towns and cities due to the relatively cheap price of heroin and it being one of the most dangerous drugs in the world.

Research has revealed that 30 in 1,000 residents use either opiates or crack cocaine. This is four times greater than the national average.

Local town centre resident Sean shared his story of homelessness and his experience of witnessing drug use around him to the Express…

“Everybody comes to Middlesbrough because the drugs are so cheap but it’s rubbish as there’s little or no heroin in it.

“Dealers from big cities such as Leeds and Newcastle are flooding Middlesbrough with all the stuff they can’t sell because the idiots here buy it and think it’s a great deal because it’s so cheap.

“I’ve been with people to have tests and there’s been no heroin in their system, even if they say they had a hit a couple of hours earlier.”

One addict in Middlesbrough town centre said: “wherever you go in town, it’s pretty much guaranteed there will be a drug dealer with 100ft.”


What is the cause of the Middlesbrough heroin problem?

It’s not entirely clear why Middlesbrough specifically is home to such a big heroin problem. Middlesbrough is one of the poorest towns in the UK with a high homelessness rate alongside a high drug use rate. Unfortunately, the two big social issues often go hand in hand and Middlesbrough is a good example of this.

A lack of funding in public and social services, paired with the accessibility and affordability of heroin is a recipe for disaster. With what can be argued as inadequate help for heroin addicts and other drug users, a problem like this always has the potential to grow and grow.


Existing help for heroin addicts in Middlesbrough

With such a widespread problem in Middlesbrough, the existing support for drug misuse could be called into question. However, there are schemes and centres in place that offer help.

Middlesbrough Recovering Together (MRT) offers support in the form of counselling, prescriptions, recovery support and psychosocial interventions. The service is open to all and offers drop-in sessions where you can go for advice.

Change Grow Live is another organisation that offers a Treatment and Care Service, this is a free and confidential drug and alcohol abuse service in Middlesbrough. They provide support through groups and encourage positive social networks to help addicts get the help they need.

They also offer a harm minimisation service which gives out important advice. They also offer a needle exchange service as well as testing and vaccinations for blood viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis C.

While services like these are extremely important, they can’t do a lot to prevent the use of drugs in the first place or to get people off substances – both of which are very difficult to combat on such a widespread scale.

Given that the Middlesbrough heroin problem affects so many people, far more than the national average, health services resources are strained for those who seek help. Currently, the Middlesbrough heroin problem is victim to the same problem facing the rest of the UK, underfunding in social services and the local authority. This means that all some services can do is repair the damage as it happens.

Q) How long does heroin stay in your system?

A) Heroin can be found in your hair follicles up to 90 days after you first injected it.


New trial for heroin addicts in Middlesbrough

A trial has been announced to help people affected by drug addiction. Organisers of the scheme say that it will help heroin addicts break away from their need to commit crime to fund their addiction.

Middlesbrough will see heroin addicts given doses of medical-grade heroin twice a day. So far, fifteen people have been chosen to take part in the trial. It’s unclear as of yet whether it will be extended to other heroin addicts and whether it will be a successful method of heroin rehabilitation.

The Heroin Assisted Treatment facility was first announced last year in September. However, organisers behind the scheme say they have only recently been awarded the necessary licenses.

The scheme will cost £12,000 per person taking part in the scheme and involves using diamorphine twice per day – all under medical supervision to ensure safety.

The cost of the scheme has been partially funded by Barry Coppinger, a Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland. Other funding has come from Tees and Wear Prisons Group and Durham Tees Valley Community Rehabilitation Company.

Barry Coppinger called it “a tremendous step forward” and said: “This is the right thing to do.”

“There’s strong evidence it can save lives and reduce harm, and we can’t put a monetary value on that,” he added.

Hosting the clinic, Danny Ahmed from Foundations Medical Practice said: “This treatment and recovery pilot is aimed at those for whom all other current methods have failed.”

“This removes the constant need to commit crime in order to fund street heroin addiction.”

However, the scheme has not been free from criticism. Critics such as the campaign group Europe Against Drugs says that the scheme “perpetuates addicts’ maintenance on the drug when the goal should always be abstinence”.


Getting treatment for heroin addiction

If you have had problems with heroin addiction or you know a drug user who does, then help is at hand with the Ocean Recovery Centre.

Our Middlesborough rehab centre is designed to help people with a range of addictions, including heroin addicts. We have worked with and helped countless people overcome their drug addiction or alcohol dependency.

Ocean Recovery offers a range of treatments including a fully medical-assisted detox, behavioural therapy and group sessions. We work closely with you to determine the underlying reasons behind your addiction – what led you down this path – so that we can treat the root of the problem. This is because removing the substance is only half the battle.

Ocean Recovery offers both inpatient rehab and outpatient options so that you can select the rehab programme that best suits you and your specific needs.

To get the ball rolling, you can request a consultation with one of our specialist staff members. They will give you all the advice and support you need to begin treatment at our rehab centre. To get started, get in touch directly via 01253 847 553 or text HELP to 83222.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: January 13, 2022

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.