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A DRUGS project is prescribing acupuncture for addicts to help them fight their habit.

The Turnaround Project in Glasgow - which treats women who turn to crime to fund their addiction - introduced the treatment last month.

The move also sees families of addicts being offered acupuncture to help relieve stress, and comes at a time when the use of cocaine in the city is on the increase.

Yesterday, project leader Sophia Young told the Record: "Last year, we found that five per cent of our clients had problems as a result of cocaine use.

"However this year, so far, we have found that 12.5 per cent of our clients have experienced such problems.

"The drug appears to be more available than before and we have also found that more people are injecting heroin and cocaine."

Last night, a Strathclyde Police spokeswoman confirmed that cocaine was becoming more common.

She said: "We are aware that the use of cocaine is on the increase in general terms.

"Therefore, probably, it would be reflected in the female population."

Meanwhile, Sophia Young claimed the alternative acupuncture therapy has already proved successful.

She said: "Ear acupuncture helps people with substance misuse problems, but particularly addicts in withdrawal. Our clients love it and we also use it with their families to help relieve the stress that they are going through."

The centre, which is run by the charity Turning Point Scotland, treats 500 women a year and is one of their six drugs clinics nationwide.

Prime Minister Tony Blair toured the Glasgow centre a year ago as he vowed to cut drug-related crimes in Scotland by 70,000 a year.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 21, 2001
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