Pubdate: Tue, 19 Sep 2000
Source: Canberra Times (Australia)
Copyright: 2000 Canberra Times
Author: Geoff Page, Narrabundah


I NOTE with approval your unsensational report of Dr Gabriele Bammer's 
research on naltrexone and buprenorphine as "cures" for heroin 
addiction. Admittedly her sample is small, but the limited success of 
naltrexone in this area simply re-emphasises the need for variety in 
treatment, all the way from Brian Watters's abstinence programs and the 
use of naltrexone right through to the limited heroin trial first 
proposed by Dr Bammer some years ago now. As Dr Bammer says, "Part of 
the problem is people want magic solutions, and there are no magic 
solutions". People with an overwhelming sense of mental neatness, such 
as Messrs Osborne and Rugendyke, might like to consider whether they 
really prefer users to die from heroin of unknown purity or whether 
continued (but not necessarily indefinite) addiction to regulated 
heroin supplied at cost by the government might not be a better interim 
solution for all concerned. It is really quite hard to rehabilitate the 
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