Very interesting piece about an experiment to prescribe heroin to addicts in one area of England in the from 1982 to 1995.
He expanded his heroin prescription programme from a dozen people to more than 400.
The first people to notice an effect were the local police. Inspector Michael Lofts studied 142 heroin and cocaine addicts in the area, and he found there was a 93 per cent drop in theft and burglary.
Since the clinics opened, the street heroin dealer has slowly but surely abandoned the streets of Warrington and Widnes.
What I find interesting in discussing solutions to the drug problem is that nobody considers the money argument. Take away the market by providing the supply and the market in pushing drugs disappears.
And something nobody predicted took place. The number of heroin addicts in the area actually fell. Research published by Dr Marks in the Proceedings of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh compared Widnes, which had a heroin clinic, to the very similar Liverpool borough of Bootle, which didnâ€™t â€” and found Widnes had 12 times fewer addicts.
This approach is worthy of more investigation. It seems to have worked better than other experiments that I know about.
The last authoritative academic survey found that although more addicts on methadone were trying to give up drugs completely than patients receiving prescribed heroin, the methadone users were three times more likely to “top up” with drugs bought illegally.
Home Office civil servants, meanwhile, concede in private that they are becoming increasingly alarmed at the number of people who are dying from misusing methadone.