Home > All Posts > Study Shows Heroin Can Be An Effective Form Of Treatment

Study Shows Heroin Can Be An Effective Form Of Treatment

I’ve read a lot of articles on this subject. I really don’t see how it could work. I myself don’t think it would have worked for me. What do you guys think?




October 9, 2008   Heroin-assisted treatment, in which heroin users who have not respond to other types of treatment are given the drug itself in a controlled setting, was shown to be effective by a recent study in Germany.

Treatment is most commonly viewed as a means to help people completely stop using drugs. However, maintenance therapies such as the one used in the Germany study take the approach that providing safe, reliable access to the drug can improve people’s health and help stabilize their lives.

The study, the largest of its kind to date, found that providing heroin as a means of treatment not only improved the health of patients, but increased their ability to function in society. he results were so clearly positive that the study’s clinical project coordinator called for new health policies to make heroin-assisted treatment legally available,and made “the explicit recommendation to include this type of treatment into the catalogue for heroin-dependent patients.”

The idea of providing heroin as treatment may appear counter-intuitive, but the evidence indicates it is an effective way to reduce the harms associated with drug use. In the German study, receiving heroin as treatment help improve patients’ health and reduced or stabilized heir use of street heroin and cocaine.

In addition to success with these primary objectives, the study saw other positive outcomes – more stable housing situations and an increase in the number of patients engaged in regular work.

The study was conducted in two phases over two years, and participants belonged to one of two groups:  people who had not been successful in methadone treatment, and people who had not been effectively reached by the drug treatment system.

The study found that “heroin treatment is equally effective in methadone non-responders and in opiate addicts not reached by the drug system.

The results in Germany are just the latest evidence that heroin-assisted treatment works. The U.K., Switzerland, and the Netherlands all have studies or implemented heroin-assisted treatment with positive results.

The only similar program in North America is Insite, a pilot facility in Vancouver. Insite, which operated since 2003, is widely recognized as a success, but faces the threat of closure by the Canadian federal government.

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