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Young addict with heroin syringe injection and spoon

Heroin To Treat… Well, Heroin Addicts

A recent Canadian study has shown that treating heroin addicts WITH heroin is a much more effective treatment than oral methadone. Now, I’m almost positive that anyone could have just assumed that heroin would be a better treatment, it is what they are addicted to after all. The real point in this study is probably made in the amount of addicts that stay in treatment.
88% of addicts being treated with diacetylmorphine (the active ingredient in heroin) stayed in treatment for at least 12 months whereas, only 54% of addicts being treated with methadone stayed in treatment for the the same amount of time.

Although the usage of street heroin declined significantly (from 27 days a month to only 5) one has to wonder if the addicts only stayed because they kept getting their fix. The main goal of the study is to simply get the addicts to stay in treatment, see a doctor regularly, and to reduce crime and use of street heroin. However, what would some of the addicts do if their doctors thought it was time to slowly take them off the drug? Would they leave, would the increase in crime and use of street heroin increase significantly, or would the addicts be committed to stopping their heavy usage of heroin. I think that should be the next step in the test.

The only thing about this study is it may not change anything in the United States due to strict drug policies.

Side note: Although crime decreased as well as use of street heroin, cocaine usage remained high.

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