Pubdate: Sat, 12 Mar 2016
Source: Tampa Bay Times (FL)
Copyright: 2016 St. Petersburg Times
Author: John G. Chase
Page: A12


Re: Heroin epidemic demands a federal response - March 8, commentary

I don't doubt that Rep. Vern Buchanan's motives are good, but he
proposes trying harder on a policy that has never worked in 100 years:
the federally supported drug war. He writes of 'disrupting the local
and global heroin supply chain' and 'federal grants to combat drugs'
and his 'fight against bogus pill mills.' That's the same drug
war-speak we've been hearing forever.

I suggest we ask the Swiss for help. Their policy began in 1994 as an
experiment, then expanded and was voted by referendum in 2008 to be
part of their health services. Methadone is not a 'controlled
substance.' The goal is not abstinence. Addicts who cannot get by on
methadone are prescribed heroin. Most important, there is no heroin
supply chain to disrupt; it dried up because there was little profit
in it.

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