HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Start Heroin Trials, Urges Australian Politician
Pubdate: 27 Feb 1999
Source: Lancet, The (UK)
Author: Bebe Loff and Stephen Cordner
Issue: Volume 353, Number 9154


At the launch of new heroin overdose prevention and training strategies in
Victoria, Australia, on Feb 18 the premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett, lent
his support to national heroin trials these involve the provision of heroin
to users. Already, this year, 63 people have died from overdosing on
heroin, outnumbering road-traffic fatalities as a cause of death in Victoria.

The "Heroin Overdose Prevention Initiative" advises injecting drug-users
to: avoid using heroin alone; not to combine heroin with other drugs or
alcohol; and to test the dose. Users are also advised that their tolerance
levels will be lower if they have not used heroin for a while.

Kennett disagrees with Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, who
reaffirmed his opposition earlier this year to trials despite an increase
in drug-related deaths. Howard pointed to the success of his
"Tough-on-Drugs" strategy which has produced a record number drug seizures.
A National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre report, released on Feb 9,
stated that heroin-related deaths have increased by 73% over the past
decade. Kennett has called a meeting of premiers to discuss the issue of
trials next week. 
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