A new drug for recovering heroin addicts is being rolled out across Wales to prevent them having to make daily trips to over-stretched pharmacies.
Buprenorphine can be given as a monthly injection instead of alternatives such as methadone which are given daily.
Wales is the first UK nation to routinely offer the drug.
One woman on the treatment said: "You just feel well… your life is your own again."
Chemists are among the businesses allowed to remain open in the UK and have been getting up to a week's worth of prescriptions a day since the coronavirus crisis began.
Announcing the roll-out, Health Minister Vaughan Gething said former heroin users were at greater risk of contracting coronavirus because, as a result of their substance misuse, they have poorer immune systems and many have underlying health conditions.
A mother-of-one, who has been on the treatment for the past six months, said it was "liberating" and made her "hopeful for the future".
She said: "I became an addict when I was a teenager after a bad relationship.
"Before I knew it my life was in a downhill spiral."
She stopped using heroin a decade ago, but six years later she relapsed and was using the drug again for a year.
"Even when I've sorted myself out I would wake up feeling dreadful and anxious," she said.
"I would have to take something to feel better – over-the-counter medication – I never just felt well."
The 36-year-old, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "It is like a sentence. You have got to march up to the chemist every day.
"Even though I had been clean for three-and-a-half years, I wouldn't feel that was true because I would still take something every morning to feel better.
"Every morning I felt I hadn't achieved anything because of that. This takes that away."
Since being put on a buprenorphine pilot scheme in Wales, she said the monthly injections had given her "independence" and a clear head.
She said: "With opiate-based medication you lose sensation, you don't yawn, feel goose bumps as there is a deadening effect on your body, you feel numb. But you don't get that with this. It makes you feel well, but also awake in a way you don't with methadone, which makes you feel dopey.
"It is only the last two months it has occurred to me that I just feel okay. I can't remember the last time that happened.
"It is like having an angel on your shoulder."
The use of the slow-release drug had been in the early stages of being trialled in a few areas across the UK, having only been approved for use at the end of last year.
Cardiff-based drugs charity Kaleidoscope Project believes it is the biggest prescriber of the drug in the UK.
Its chief executive Martin Blakebrough saRead More – Source