Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Why don't we just give them a loaded gun?

Canadian researchers are exploring a brilliant new idea in drug treatment:
Researchers in Montreal are about to launch one part of a three-city study to determine whether medically prescribed heroin is better than methadone at keeping street addicts in treatment programs.

The North American Opiate Medication Initiative (NAOMI), which also includes sites in Toronto and Vancouver, will target a total of 470 opiate-dependent users who have not benefited from conventional addiction treatment programs.

. . .

Each participant will be randomly assigned to one of two groups: one group will receive injectable, pharmaceutical-grade heroin, while the other will be given oral methadone.
Gee whiz, I wonder how that study will turn out. I'm not much of a science person, but something tells me that those junkies who "have not benefited from conventional addiction treatment" will indeed me more inclined to stay in treatment if they got shot up with dope every day. In fact, let's run with this idea. Maybe if we installed roulette wheels in the GA meetings the gamblers would be more inclined to attend. And we could add pints of Ben and Jerrys to the midnight snack menu for the eating disorder clinics. Sheesh.

(For more info, see the press release.)

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