Pubdate: Fri, 11 May 2001
Source: Irish Examiner (Ireland)
Section: Letters
Copyright: Examiner Publications Ltd, 2001
Author: Robert Sharpe, The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation


Given the extent of the heroin problem, perhaps policymakers should 
consider increasing treatment options rather than falling back on "tough on 
drugs" strategies that only compound the problem.

Would alcoholics seek help for their illness if doing so was tantamount to 
confessing to criminal activity?

There is a middle ground between all-out legalisation and drug prohibition. 
The trials, modelled after methadone maintenance programmes, have been 
shown to reduce drug use and related crime, death, and disease among 
chronic heroin users.

By registering Ireland's heroin addicts and providing them with 
standardised doses in a treatment setting, the public health problems 
associated with heroin could be eliminated.

Robert Sharpe
The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation
4455, Connecticut Ave, Washington, DC, USA
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