Pubdate: Thu, 11 Aug 2011
Source: Centre Daily Times (PA)
Copyright: 2011 Nittany Printing and Publishing Co., Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe, Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy


Thank you for making the case of methadone in your Aug. 7 editorial.
Methadone has been proven to reduce drug use and related crime, death
and disease among chronic opioid addicts. Though methadone is known as
a treatment for heroin, it's also a viable treatment for addiction to
synthetic opiates like OxyContin. Methadone staves off debilitating
withdrawal symptoms, but does not produce a high that prevents
patients from living productive lives.

The tough-on-drugs alternative to harm reduction programs like
methadone maintenance is a very real threat to public safety. Attempts
to limit the supply of illegal drugs while demand remains constant
only increase the profitability of trafficking. For addictive drugs
like heroin, a spike in street prices leads desperate addicts to
increase criminal activity to feed desperate habits. The drug war
doesn't fight crime, it fuels crime.

Robert Sharpe 

Washington, D.C.
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