For years Germany has endured criticism and warnings about their heroin trials from the outdated International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yesterday, the German parliament essentially snubbed the warnings and voted to include heroin assisted treatment (HAT) as part of their official drug policy. Since the INCB condemns drug addiction and expressly forbids HAT, Germany had to previously conduct their heroin trials using a special clause for scientific research. Article 4 of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs “requires nations to limit use and possession of drugs to medicinal and scientific purposes”. It’s the same clause that the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) has had to operate under for the last 10 years. All of the countries conducting heroin trials or with MSIC programs have come under relentless criticism from UNODC and the INCB including threats. Australia backed out of a heroin trial after US diplomats and the INCB threatened the Tasmania poppy industry. Luckily for many European countries, the UN/US do not have any bargaining chips to threaten them with. Recently, Switzerland and Denmark both ignored the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and passed HAT into law. Now Germany has joined them.
Is this the beginning of the end for the US/UN dominance over worldwide drug policies? Will this lead to Canada and Spain - who had very successful heroin trials - to establish HAT at the risk of upsetting the US/UN? What about Australia? What about the UK who already have the capacity to prescribe heroin to addicts and are currently finishing off a very successful heroin trial? Will common sense, evidence based research and this growing trend finally tip over the various governments who have considered HAT? With HAT now showing more success than abstinence only treatment, methadone, buprenorphine and Suboxone for long term users, it’s going to be hard for governments to reject. That’s the theory anyway.
German Addicts To Get Synthetic Heroin As Prescription Drug
Berlin - Long-term drug addicts in Germany will soon be able to obtain synthetic heroin on prescription, under a new law approved by parliament on Thursday. Thousands of addicts are expected to benefit from the legislation reclassifying diamorphine as a legally prescribed controlled drug.
Under the terms of the law, addicts aged 23 or older will be able to obtain diamorphine on prescription at special centres and take it under the supervision of trained personnel.
The programme will apply only to people addicted to opiates for more than 5 years who have unsuccessfully taken parts in rehab programmes at least twice.
The legislation follows a pilot project conducted on more than 1,000 addicts in seven German cities between 2002-2006.
The study showed the health of addicts who took diamorphine improved more frequently than it did for those treated with the heroin substitute methadone.
A spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative, who opposed the legislation, warned that up to 80,000 addicts could take advantage of the new scheme, while drug experts put the figure at 2,000 to 3,000.