Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 2009
Source: Independent  (UK)
Copyright: 2009 Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Ed Howker's 9 March column, there is a reason the number of
hard-drug addicts in Britain has gone up from 1,000 thirty years ago
to 270,000 today. The practice of prescribing pharmaceutical heroin to
addicts was standard in England from the 1920s to the 1960s. In
response to political pressure from the United States, prescription
heroin maintenance was effectively discontinued in 1971. The loss of a
controlled distribution system and subsequent creation of an
unregulated black market allowed the number of heroin users to skyrocket.

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC
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