Pubdate: Sat, 08 Jul 2006
Source: Times, The  (Munster IN)
Copyright: 2006 The Munster Times
Author: Dave Michon
Bookmark: (Heroin)
Bookmark: (Methadone)


Note: Title by MAP Editor

QUESTION: What should be done about the drug problem in Porter and 
LaPorte counties?


I read your editorial on heroin use in the county. I have lived with 
opioid addiction my entire life, but it's been 25 years since I've 
done any dope, for whatever that's worth. I made it through 
methadone. I'm still on it -- although I once endured eight years 
without it -- and probably will be until I die. If you quit, all 
you've got is a deadly untreated addiction on your hands. Until 
science comes up with a cure, a real cure that doesn't depend on 
willpower, this will continue.

But we not only need expanded and easier access (methadone is the 
most highly regulated medication in the United States) to methadone, 
we need to look ahead. The new buprenorphine that Congress backs 
doesn't work for a heroin habit, although it should be available for 
milder cases.

What else can be done, since we've had methadone for more than 30 
years? Switzerland has shown the way.

After enduring a heroin epidemic, the Swiss have found dispensing 
pharmaceutical heroin coupled with counseling is superior for the 
recalcitrant addict. It's being called the "Swiss Fix," and its 
record is phenomenal.

Crime levels, poverty, and disease all dropped so fast that 
forward-thinking countries the world over, including Canada, are 
making it available and watching the addicts come in, where they can 
address other issues. I knew a lot of people who would be alive today 
if such a treatment were available.

This is the only thing the big dealers fear. They sure don't fear 
drug war point man and U.S. Rep. Mark Souder.

Everything he so vehemently espouses puts money in their pockets. 
Prohibition got us into this mess.

Dave Michon

Cadot, Wis.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman