10/12/2011 12:54 EDT | Updated 12/12/2011 05:12 EST

N.S. funds methadone treatment program for Annapolis Valley addicts

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia will spend $370,000 a year to widen a methadone treatment program for drug addicts in the Annapolis Valley.

Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald says the move addresses a significant waiting list in the area for methadone.

There are currently 27 people waiting to join the methadone program.

The province says they could begin receiving the drug as early as next week.

Methadone is a synthetic opiate that can be used to help treat addictions to heroin, oxycodone and other opiates.

Prescription drug abuse has been a problem in the Annapolis Valley in recent years, prompting the creation of a citizens' group aimed at combating addiction.