Only the other day, I reported that Israel were considering prescription heroin for long term addicts without a trial first. There is now irrefutable evidence that giving clean, legal heroin to some addicts benefits everyone ... except the Zero Tolerance weirdoes of course.
Denmark too has skipped the standard ‘heroin trial’ and instead are running a pilot project. The most interesting aspect is that even the conservative political parties including the Christian right, support the project. I always wonder why Australia is influenced by US drug policy as they have the one of the worst drug problems on this planet yet we ignore Europe that continually find new ways to manage the situation successfully.
Heroin project funded
A near unanimous parliament agreed on Monday to begin a two-year, DKK 70 million pilot project that will make heroin available by prescription to addicts that social workers determine to be beyond the reach of other detox methods.
The decision marks a change in political attitudes in the 15-year debate over prescription heroin.
The decisive support for the decision came from the prime minister’s Liberal Party after the health minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, aired what was to be a change in the government’s position during the 2007 general election campaign.
Final resistance to the idea of prescription heroin eroded after a National Board of Health report concluded recently that similar programmes in other countries had been successful.
The guidelines of the programme will be established by the end of the year, and starting in 2009 it will become the responsibility of local councils to determine which heroin addicts qualify for prescription heroin and to oversee distribution.
Funding for the pilot project was announced as part of this year’s disbursement of national Social Focus Pool funds - a Social Ministry funding programme that will contribute DKK 3.7 billion over the next three years to scores of social welfare initiatives.
The Social Focus Pool was established in 1991 and individual project funding is evaluated by parliament annually.