Tuesday, February 27, 2007

UK: "Restricted" report urges Rx heroin

The government should consider providing free heroin to hard-core addicts through the National Health Service as a way to reduce crime, says a top-level report by the UK Home Office.

Marked "restricted" because of its controversial recommendations, the document was leaked to The Independent.

There is mounting evidence that trying to restrict the supply of drugs is impossible, says the document. Even if partially successful, supply restriction merely drives up the price of drugs and drives addicts to commit more crimes.

The report comes in a setting where cheap and potent Afghan heroin in unprecedented volume has been flooding into the UK from all ports of entry.

"There is a strong argument that prohibition has caused or created many of the problems associated with the use or misuse of drugs. One option for the future would be to regulate drugs differently, through either over-the-counter sales, licensed sales or doctor's prescription." Source.

For a historical review of similar policy recommendations, see the Transform Drug Policy web site.

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