Fifty-seven methadone vending machines have been installed in British prisons in an effort to help opiate-addicted prisoners manage their drug addictions without resorting to illegal heroin supplies available behind bars.
The machines dispense individualized doses of methadone to registered prisoners after a fingerprint or iris scan. A total of about 70 machines are expected to be installed at a cost of approximately $6.5 million, roughly 10% of the British prison system’s drug treatment budget.
‘Methadone dispensers are a safe and secure method for providing a prescribed treatment,’ said a prison spokesperson.
‘They can only be accessed by the person who has been clinically assessed as needing methadone and that person is recognized by a biometric marker, such as their iris.’