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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Treating Drug Addicts With Heroin

New studies into treating heroin have been taking place in Europe, especially in England where addiction specialists are realizing that it may be more beneficial for hard-to-treat addicts to be treated with the drug they are addicted to. Controversial to say the least, the study's findings have been quite shocking; it is a real possibility that heroin clinics will be set up throughout England to manage heroin addicts? Treating drug addicts with heroin, the addict's drug of choice, without a doubt should be a last resort choice. It seems relevant to point out that the study being performed in England benefits society much more than it benefits the addicts. The addicts who are being injected by government clinicians are still caught in the grips of addiction and it seems unlikely that they will become contributing members of society.

The study found that the use of street heroin was cut by three quarters and the crimes committed to get drugs were slashed by two-thirds. Great Britain decided that the cost of $22,000 per patient per year to provide, addicts who had failed at other forms of treatment, heroin was a wiser alternative to having addicts running the streets committing crimes to get their fix. The cost to imprison heroin addicts is almost 3 times more a year than supplying heroin in government run clinics. The streets are safer and the drug is administered in a more sanitary environment which cuts down on disease. John Strang, led the research team involved in this study at Britain's National Addiction Centre, associated with King's College in London. "Strang said the stubborn nature of heroin addiction is proof that getting addicts into treatment is really a shallow achievement, because many will eventually turn to drugs again. He believes this promising approach could change the way hard-to-treat addicts are treated and convince the government that the initial high cost offers good value", reported CNN.

This experiment is by no means the best way to help addicts become productive members of society. Providing heroin to addicts may cut down on crime and the amount spent annually to imprison such addicts; however, the likelihood that addicts high on heroin will be able to manage their lives while high is very small. Sure, the streets are safer but people are still shackled by their addiction and will never be relieved of the bondage if the government agrees to get people high year-round for free. Many of the most hardened drug addicts have managed to find sobriety and continue to maintain it without drug maintenance programs like methadone or Suboxone. Those individuals that are unwilling to surrender and ask for guidance will never find freedom form the disease of addiction.

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