Friday, 11 April 2008

What If We Gave Her Heroin?

The recent ABC documentary,The Oasiswas a real eye openerto theproblems that youth facewhen raised in a dysfunctional family. A recurring issue was drug use and how every cent they had was spent on drugs. One girl in particular tried to go to rehab several times and was unable to kick her heroin habit. After two years she was spending $600 a day to feed this habit as we watched her deteriorate before our eyes. All this effort and pain just to take a type of medication. Yes heroin (diamorphine) is still used around the world for the treatment of pain and ... addiction. Why not here? Australia is after all, supposed to be a modern, prosperous country.What if she was given free clean heroin in a hospital or clinic? They do this in many other countries. She was doing it anyway and there were no signs of stopping. If she received government assisted heroin, she would have money and not have to live in hyde park under a bush. If she didn't have to spend every minute of every day trying to find money, she might be able to find a job instead. If there was a program for hardened addicts to receive the drug that ran their lives, she would not have to commit daily crimes to pay for her heroin. Many in her situation turn to dealing to support their own habit. Those desperate enough will cut it and if that added ingredient is dangerous enough, well we might be talking about her in the past tense. The other problem is that if she is accustom to low grade heroin and she stumbles onto a stronger batch, there is no label to advise her of the strength or ingredients. She will overdose and die. Drug dealers don't answer to a licensing board and there is no complaints department either.

Aside from the moral issues, heroin is almost non toxic. It does no harm to you physically except constipation and a subdued respiratory system. The main damage is caused by an unhealthy diet, blood borne diseases and dirty needles causing collapsed veins etc. All this would stop if heroin was a treatment for addiction like in those countries who continue to beat the trend and have a negative growth rate of new heroin users.

In reality, the girl in question is probably dead now and is just one of the thousands that were cheated by a minority group of elitists. These elitists go out of their way to stop the progress needed to introduce real strategies that work. If they left these issues to the experts in this area, the girl we talk of might now be reading this on her way to work.


Anonymous said...

How did your wife die?

Terry Wright said...

No, she wasn't a heroin user.

She had respiratory complications whilst asleep due to glandular fever.

Anonymous said...

I guess if the cowards in our previous government hadn't stopped the ACT heroin trials we'd well and truly know the answer to your questions by now Terry. Isn't it amazing how we can suddenly see how little we've progressed while Howard and his goons were in power?

Of course they don't give a fuck about junkies, most of them aren't voters.

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Dave
You should read the story about it Dave. It a real cracker with Howard going against everyone including his own party. His main support was from Ackerman, Alan Jones, Bolt, Laws, Neil Mitchell etc ... the usual crowd who we've all grown to hate so much. 4 Corners did a special on it and it was a real eye opener for anyone who didn't know the ins & outs.

Heroin is slowly losing it's mystique and bad boy image. It's a horrible drug to get addicted to but only 10% of users ever get hooked. Over half of the those who do get hooked and don't kick the habit after 5 years usually have some mental health issue and would have been addicted to something anyway ... usually alcohol. To me the odds of 10% is still way too risky for the suffering that could happen.

Just a quick point. You mostly see addicts who are scruffy and unemployed. Heroin users who are middle class and up follow a strict routine of never using during the week and therefore never get addicted or get in the public eye. Most people don't realise this. At least half of the people I know who use, have jobs and about half of those are not addicts.