Pubdate: Sat, 24 May 2014
Source: Tampa Bay Times (FL)
Copyright: 2014 St. Petersburg Times
Author: John G. Chase
Page: 15A

Re: May 21, editorial, "Florida's next drug problem: heroin"


Since much heroin is by taken by injection, we also will likely see
increases in hepatitis C and HIV infection. In the mid 1990s, these
diseases drove the Swiss to try something radical, and it worked. The
Swiss now offer treatment-on-demand. Of an estimated 22,000 to 24,000
addicts, 16,500 are in treatment, primarily with methadone maintenance
at conventional clinics. The Swiss treat about 1,300 hard-core addicts
with maintenance doses of herA-oin in 23 special clinics operating in
cities and two prisons.

The Swiss are seeing lower rates of crime, death and disease. Most
important, the age of hard-core addicts is climbing, indicating that
fewer young people are becoming addicted. The program has been adopted
by Germany, Belgium and Denmark. The Times suggests allowing EMTs to
carry and administer naloxone to prevent overdose deaths, and greater
treatment options for addicts instead of simply punishment and
incarceration. Yes, but also look beyond the United States for

John G. Chase, Palm Harbor
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MAP posted-by: Matt