Pubdate: Thu, 03 Feb 2000
Source: Age, The (Australia)
Copyright: 2000 David Syme & Co Ltd
Contact:  250 Spencer Street, Melbourne, 3000, Australia
Author: Victoria Button


Almost half of the first 54 Victorian heroin addicts to receive a
controversial rapid detoxification were still drug free a year later,
a clinic has claimed.

Since November 1997, the Genesis Medical Centre in Brighton has
treated more than 800 addicts with counselling, rapid detoxification
under sedation and naltrexone, a drug that takes away heroin's high.

The clinic's Dr Michael Kozminsky said a follow-up of the first group
of patients at the clinic revealed that two were dead (one of an
overdose and one of an unrelated asthma attack) and eight were
uncontactable. Of the rest, 50 per cent of the women and 43 per cent
of the men were not on heroin.

But drug experts reacted to the figures with caution. The National
Drug and Alcohol Research Centre's Associate Professor Richard Mattick
said more reliable data on rapid detoxification should be available in
about a year.
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