ALMOST 15,000 prescriptions to treat heroin addiction were handed out in Barnsley last year, new figures have revealed.

Methadone, marketed under the brand name Physeptone, is a synthetic opioid used to help people who have a heroin addiction by reducing withdrawal symptoms.

The drug is only available on prescription from GPs or drug treatment services.

Figures from the NHS OpenPrescribing service show 14,477 prescriptions for methadone were given out by GPs in the former NHS Barnsley CCG to treat substance dependence.

This was down from 15,334 the year before.

It was also down significantly from five years prior when 15,909 prescriptions were handed out in 2018.

This data shows the number of prescriptions given by GPs, rather than patients - a single patient may have been prescribed a drug multiple times over the same year.