Pubdate: Thu, 28 Aug 2014
Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)
Copyright: 2014 Robert Sharpe
Author: Robert Sharpe


Thank you for making the case for methadone maintenance in your
editorial, Positive news on methadone (SP, Aug. 23).

Methadone has been proven to reduce drug use and related crime, death
and disease among chronic opioid addicts. Though it is known as a
treatment for heroin, methadone is also a viable treatment for
addiction to synthetic opiates such as OxyContin. Methadone staves off
debilitating withdrawal symptoms, but does not produce a high that
prevents people from living productive lives.

The tough-on-drugs alternative to harm reduction programs such as
methadone maintenance is a threat to public safety. Attempts to limit
the supply of illegal drugs while demand remains constant only
increase the profitability of trafficking.

For addictive drugs such as heroin, a spike in street prices leads
desperate addicts to increase criminal activity to feed their habit.
The drug war doesn't fight crime, but it fuels crime. Drug policies
should seek to reduce the harms of both drug addiction and drug

Robert Sharpe

Policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington,
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