Pubdate: Thu, 24 Feb 2000
Source: Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Copyright: News Limited 2000


West Australians have been asked to donate money to help prisoners
overcome their heroin addictions using Naltrexone. The scheme, set up
this week by the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee, is seeking
sponsorship money from people to fund the $195 monthly cost of
Naltrexone for each addict.

Committee executive officer Kath Mallott said up to 25 per cent of
prisoners were heroin addicts and Naltrexone had proved to be an
effective treatment.

However, few prisoners could afford it and were locked in a cycle of
crime to fund their habits.

"If Naltrexone was available to prisoners who wanted it there would be
enormous benefits to the community," Ms Mallott said.

"There would be fewer prisoner deaths from overdoses, it would reduce
the use of illicit drugs within the system and it would reduce the
cause of a lot of re-offending."

Ms Mallott said prisoners would receive intensive one-on-one
counselling on the Naltrexone program and would be allocated a carer
to help ensure they stuck to it.

She said the idea had already received a positive community response
and she was hoping that donations would allow some prisoners to begin
the scheme in the next month. 
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