Thursday, February 10, 2005

Canadian Clinic to Try Prescribing Heroin

Oh Great - another Drug out of control!

Canadian Clinic to Try Prescribing Heroin to See if It Will Be More Effective to Help Addicts

VANCOUVER, British Columbia Feb 9, 2005 — A clinic providing free heroin to Vancouver addicts is to open later this month to see if prescribing the drug can help addicts who have failed in other treatment programs.

Similar projects have been scorned in the United States, seen as unethical or dangerous. There have been such studies in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Spain.

The 12-15 month trial is to determine if prescribed, pharmaceutical-grade heroin in conjunction with methadone treatment is more effective than methadone alone in treating certain opiate-addicted people.

"We're trying to figure out whether we can reach out to those people with medically prescribed heroin," said Dr. Martin Schechter, principal investigator for The North American Opiate Medication Initiative.

The project also will be conducted in Toronto and Montreal, but is set to get under way in Vancouver first, following government approval expected in about two weeks.

More than 4,000 drug addicts live near the clinic in Vancouver's impoverished Downtown Eastside, an area known for its street drug deals.

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