The best way for the U.S. to treat heroin addicts is to give them heroin, provide it for free and improve its quality too, says a physician from Vancouver, Canada according to US News.
On Wednesday, Dr. Scott MacDonald, lead physician at Providence Health Care’s Crosstown Clinic, attested on Capitol Hill that giving heroin addicts quality and free heroin would improve the addict’s mental and physical health while preventing the addict to commit drug crimes.
The idea isn’t far-fetched; Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland use this method in their health care too.
Crosstown Clinic, however, is the only place in Canada where a longstanding heroin addict can legally get the drug with a “heroin-assisted therapy” US News reported.
The website added that the therapy would provide a more orderly life because the addict wouldn’t need to “steal or beg” for heroin.
Two studies in Canada, NAOMI and SALOME, have been conducted. Eighty percent of the patients in SALOME have had an “improved quality of life,” according to US News.
A 54-year-old Canadian woman, Dianne Tobin, said she has been using heroin for decades and decided to help with the research for this study because getting heroin from other places can be dangerous.
“The heroin got terrible and laced with all kinds of stuff and that’s why I didn’t want to do it anymore,” she told US News.
Currently, no one under the treatment has officially stopped using heroin. There are more than 200 patients under treatment.
However, MacDonald is certain that this treatment would be good for heroin addicts.
“When it comes to health policy, when you have something that’s more effective and saves dollars, that should be an easy decision to make,” MacDonald told US News.