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Prescription Heroin for Addiction Treatment

Posted on :  May 12th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Did you know that the government of Canada has approved the prescription of pharmaceutical-grade heroin as a treatment for severe addiction? The new drug guidelines allows doctors to issue prescriptions for patients who have not responded well to conventional addiction treatment methods. Can this be really the solution for drug addiction?

The Implications

What does this new guidelines mean? This means that treatment clinics can expand specialized heroin maintenance programs to allow addicts to come in a maximum of 3 times daily to get their prescribed injections. The free heroin maintenance can be received without legal implications. This is a unique program that is enforced in the United States and Canada, which is similar in approach in 8 European countries.

This move is actually a reversal of government policies implemented in previous administrations and seen as a softening of stance in addressing the problems of drug abuse and addiction. The implementation comes after an announcement of plans to legalize marijuana sale next year. A task force has also been appointed to look into the regulation, selling, and taxing of marijuana.

As part of this initiative, a four-year extension of operation has been granted to a supervised injection site located in Vancouver. The implication of this is that addicts will be able to continue to shoot up in a controlled environment using drugs bought from the street.

Additional Tools

Another thing worth noting with this decision is that Health Canada can be applied by all physicians for diacetylmorphine using the special access program. However, the government pointed out that such a program is made available only for minority users who have not found relief from traditional, proven, and effective treatment options.

It seems that the motivations is to be able to provide healthcare services different tools in addressing the crisis of opioid addiction and overdose. Some treatment clinics are welcoming this decision of the federal government. These clinics which may be funded by the provincial government are involved in the delivery of diacetylmorphine to addicts using a special court order that gives them exemption privileges.

When the amount of supply increases, it is expected that the number of addicts that these clinics cater to will double at the very least. The court order remains in place despite a constitutional challenge trying to stop the distribution of drugs by the government. Conservative parliament however remain adamantly against this health policy being implemented by the government.

From their perspective, using prescription heroin to treat opioid addiction is not the right venue to take. These conservative parliamentarians believe that the heroin should be taken from the hands of addicts and not injected into them.

As for the government, it sees that there is a need to adjust conditions of long-term addicts that the standard methadone and detox treatment cannot address. It is not that these standard treatments are not adequate, but the reality is that there are circumstances wherein repeated attempts have resulted in treatment failure. This should not mean that delivering care to these exceptions should be abandoned.

Program Demand

If you are a conservative, you may be surprised to know that the demand for the program is quite high. Does this mean that addicts see it as a chance to continue with their addiction? Not necessarily so, because it can also mean that long-term users are ready to explore alternative methods that will help them resolve their addiction.

Keep in mind that in this program the patients are required to come to the clinic 2 to 3 times daily for their injections. Unfortunately, this method can be a bit disruptive for patients who are working. The indication though is that the dropout rate will remain insignificant with desired results of healthier patients achievable.

The high demand for the program is projected to reduce the participation in criminal activities of addicts. In turn this will drastically cut the cost that addiction stresses on the criminal justice system. Despite the controversy of the approach, there seems to be an increase in the number of physicians becoming receptive to the program.

Towards Recovery Clinics can guide you with the proper addiction treatment for your individual needs. Call them today!

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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