HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html TA Considers Supplying Heroin To Addicts
Pubdate: Sun, 17 Feb 2008
Source: Jerusalem Post (Israel)
Copyright: 2008 The Jerusalem Post
Author: Miriam Bulwar David-Hay


Tel Aviv has come up with a controversial new plan to  give free
heroin to addicts who have failed  rehabilitation attempts, reports
the Hebrew weekly  Yediot Tel Aviv. City health and welfare officials
are  putting together the revolutionary plan, which is aimed  at
preventing the social damage caused by addicts  trying to obtain money
to buy the illicit drugs.

According to the report, four out of every five heroin  addicts who
complete rehabilitation programs eventually  end up back on the drug,
and three out of every four  property crimes are committed by drug
addicts. The  city's welfare service has decided to follow the
example of some European countries and has come up with  a plan to
provide controlled quantities of heroin free  to adult addicts who
have failed several rehabilitation  attempts. The distribution would
be done at a specific  medical clinic under the supervision of
doctors. The  plan will need to come before the Health Ministry for
approval before it can go ahead.

"There are addicts who will spend the rest of their  lives on the
drug, and distributing it to them is a  vital treatment," one
specialist said.

The report said the city's welfare service is currently  dealing with
1,707 households for drug-related  problems, and workers in the field
have long recognized  that major problems arise from addicts' attempts
to get  money for drugs. Police statistics show that 75 percent  of
property crimes and many of the recent attacks on  elderly people have
been committed by addicts trying to  get money. The figures also show
that only 20% of  addicts succeed in rehabilitation programs in the
long  term.

The report said there are currently some 15,000 drug  addicts in
Israel, most of them addicted to heroin. No  response was reported
from the Health Ministry.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek