New medicine, not heroin

syringe actis drugsA discarded syringe sits in the dirt with other debris under a highway overpass where drug users are known to congregate. Photo: AP/Elaine Thompson.

Heroin assisted treatment: .The National Congress of the Labour Party, to be held from April 20th to 23rd. in Oslo, will determine if there is majority support for trials on heroin-assisted treatment in Norway.

Yesterday, all user organizations, bar one, met the Parliament’s Health Committee to push for strengthening of treatment by use of medication (Lar).

The organizations ask the politicians to give priority to more drugs use in Lar-treatment rather than to prioritize heroin treatment.

The Conservative’s National Congress has decided to open up to using heroin in the treatment of heavy drug addicts in Norway. Labour is likely to do the same at the Congress in mid-April. Therefore, there is to be a majority for heroin assisted treatment in Norway.

But where does the eagerness towards heroin treatment stem from? The patient organizations would rather have new medicines.

 United behind the demand

– We want the politicians to prioritize and expand which drugs can be used in medically assisted treatment, rather than getting caught up in heroin-assisted treatment, says Ronny René Nielsen of the organization A-Larm.

The organizations presented the common requirements concerning the strengthening of supply for patients in medically assisted treatment (LETS).

In the LETS program addicts are given drugs that act as a substitute for heroin. Several of the drugs are also opiates, but heroin differs from substances used in treatment today, in that it has greater intoxicant effect and degrade much faster. Therefore, the user needs refills several times a day.

The organizations have no fundamental problem with heroin, but demand drugs with longer duration and that works better.

If politicians allow long-acting morphine and wider range methadone preparations in drug treatment, heroin-assisted treatment will be unnecessary according to the organizations.

All Norwegian user organizations, with the exception of the Association of humane drug policy, had endorsed the claims in the letter.


Source: / Norway Today