In the 1970s I took part in debates over the idea of prescribing heroin to addicts. The idea had been tried in
—but by the
1970s they stopped that practice. Britain
The English system had a lot of flaws. Lack of monitoring led to addicts getting enough dope to sell some of it to younger addicts not yet eligible to the system. A big reason it stopped is because many English doctors were disappointed at the number of addicts that just didn't want to quit.
Still there were/are plenty of good reasons to try it again. Many addicts get treated with methadone and that makes there immunity to heroin greater. Many fall off the program and when they go back to using heroin they have to buy/use/steal for it—way more than they used to.
As with marijuana and other drugs, prohibition has caused the same problems, such as lengthy unnecessary prison terms, inflated black market prices—causing crime and overdoses caused by unregulated drug quality control.
In a free society focus should be on addiction as a medical problem and not a criminal problem. It is time that prescribing heroin to addicts (only) be tried again. Unlike marijuana, we would not want unrestricted sales to just anyone. It would only be available to addicts. But this is a step in the right direction. We need sensible drug laws to replace the reactionary and fascistic laws we have now. Present day drug laws are nothing more than one more tool the police and the government have for oppressing people—especially poor people and members of the lower classes.
Treatment Not Repression!
How do you help drug addicts? One city in
America plans to supply them with prescription heroin. Yeah, that exists.
According to the Atlantic on Sunday, clinics in Canada have gained the
permission they needed to finally get addicts into a program where heroin is
Providence Medical Clinic, which just received the shipment of prescription heroin, is located in one of the most progressive cities in terms of drug policies. The city has been trying to reduce the dangerous effects of infected needles by providing needle exchange programs for the past 11 years. But the clinics have been facing circumstances—including a rash of 21 overdoses in a two-day period—that have encouraged them to seek new methods to fight against drug overdose.
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Pix from www.bewareofdrugs.com.