Heroin assisted treatment in Switzerland (includes video)

A note from the transcript: there is a group of people that will grow old over the course of time in this treatment. That’s a good thing. Drug dependence is a medical issue. Prolonging and improving quality of life is a central tenet of good medical treatment. For more information on heroin assisted treatment in Switzerland (and inside its prisons) click...

Heroin maintenance: the evidence

Policy should be evidence based. The Cochrane Library have recently published a review of the evidence on prescribing heroin (diamorphine). What did they find? According with the current evidence, heroin prescription should be indicated to people who is currently or have previously failed maintenance treatment, and it should be provided in clinical settings where proper follow-up is ensured. Treatment practices should always be updated to reflect the evidence. Policy that gets in the way of making these changes is bad...

United Kingdom: Injectable Opioid Treatment gets Government go-ahead

From King’s College London: IOT [Injectable Opioid Treatment] involves the prescription and supervised self-administration of injectable diamorphine (pharmaceutical heroin) or injectable methadone in a supervised clinical setting for opiate misusers Some patients don’t respond to our current treatments. This makes the availability of other types of treatment (second line therapy) a good idea. Unfortunately, Australians have no access to injectable opioid treatment. It wasn’t always so: Heroin was legally available on prescription in Australia until 1953. It was so widely used as a painkiller and in cough mixtures that Australia was the world’s largest per capita user of heroin. The 1953 prohibition of heroin was the result of international pressure on Australia to conform to the prohibition of heroin adopted by other countries, with some opposition from the AMA. Ironically, heroin, cannabis, and other drugs were prohibited in Australia well before their use became a major social issue. Perhaps the biggest problem we had with heroin at this time was doping in horse racing. Follow this link for a historical account of heroin prohibition in...

Evidence on the Portuguese decriminalisation of illicit drug use

I would encourage anyone who is interested in a balanced view of the Portuguese experience to read Caitlin Elizabeth Hughes & Alex Stevens latest paper. A full version of the article can be found here: PDF. It’s a good article, but there’s a point about Portugal that a lot of people seem to miss. Cue the Victoria Police: If you’re caught by police with drugs, you may end up with a criminal record. A drug conviction may also stop you getting a job, and you may not be able to travel to some overseas countries like the USA. In other words, if the drugs don’t hurt you a conviction will. The Victoria Police point out (quite rightly) that having criminal record is a harm in itself. This is where the Portuguese have it right, there is no sense in the use of criminal sanction to ruin someone’s career prospects or magnify the risks of using drugs. This is just one reason the ADLRF advocates for the urgent abolition of criminal sanctions for possession and other types of personal drug use. Please join or support our foundation...