Pubdate: Thu, 21 Mar 2002
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2002 Calgary Herald
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Methadone)
Bookmark: (Heroin)
Bookmark: (Treatment)


Re: "Methadone clinic sought to stop epidemic," March 13. Thank you for 
raising awareness of methadone maintenance as a means of reducing 
drug-related harm. Methadone is the most effective treatment for heroin 
addiction. Contrary to popular belief, methadone is able to stave off 
potentially deadly withdrawal symptoms without producing a high that 
prevents patients from living productive lives. Methadone therapies have 
reduced drug use and related crime, death and disease among chronic heroin 

Public health and safety are at stake. Addicts would not be sharing needles 
if not for zero-tolerance laws that restrict access to clean syringes, nor 
would they be committing crimes to support their habits if not for 
artificially inflated black-market prices. Methadone maintenance is an 
alternative approach to drug policy and treatment that seeks to minimize 
the adverse effects of drug use and drug prohibition. Drug abuse is bad, 
but the drug war is worse.

Robert Sharpe, Washington, D.C.

Robert Sharpe is program officer for the Drug Policy Alliance.
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