Pubdate: Tue, 19 Sep 2000
Source: Australian, The (Australia)
Copyright: News Limited 2000
Author: Paul Cline
Note: Headline supplied by newshawk


ALEX WODAK claimed in his letter that there were no drug overdose deaths in 
the Swiss heroin trial. Wrong.

Of the 1146 starters 36 died -- 17 from AIDS and other infectious diseases; 
the rest from a mix of overdose, suicide and accidental drug cocktails.

Them's the facts -- like the fact that shooting galleries are just what the 
doctor ordered for street drug sellers.

The sellers' buyers still buy at, what? $500 per day per habit? -- shoot up 
and come back and rebuy. Not smart. In fact probably quite dumb.

The real answer? List users. Prescribe the outlawed drug at $10 per shot 
(its actual value) and serve it at the local surgery.

Result? The street dealer loses another $500 per day per customer. Multiply 
that by, say, 2000 addicts in a two-year trial then see what happens to 
your local bash-and-grab statistics.

Meanwhile, zero change is made to the prohibited class of street drugs -- 
and their sellers are just as zealously hunted.

At the start of the Swiss trial (403,402 administrations from May 1995 to 
December 1996) 69 per cent of addicts' income was from crime. By trial's 
end that had dropped to 10 per cent.

Is anybody listening -- especially the cops who all know that 30 per cent 
of Oz crime is street-drug founded?

Meantime the Swiss have, this year, enacted laws to continue listing 
addicts, then prescribing daily doses for them -- just as the Poms have 
been doing in their Midlands for 35 years.

Paul Cline, Ardross, WA
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