Heroin Prescription in England

Here are a threesome of articles (here , here and here)about a push for heroin prescription programs in England.

Two things are striking to me. First, the focus of the advocates is almost entirely on crime reduction with a little lip service to the needs of addicts. They also make difficult to believe claims about heroin addicts criminal activity. Suggesting that your average heroin addict makes £45,000 through crime to feed his/her habit and commits an average of 432 crimes to do so. That’s $87,000. If you assume that they spend 80% of their income on heroin, they’d make almost $109,000 a year. Not too shabby. Another states that an addict using £100 of heroin a week generates £150,000 of criminal activity per year, that’s $290,000.

Second, they repeatedly refer to this as “treatment.” You may be able to make the case for that term, but palliative care seems more appropriate. The implication is pretty clear, they are on the addict equivalent of hospice. They’ve been diagnosed as incapable of recovery.

It’s also worth mentioning that the U.K. relies heavily on methadone for treatment. A Scottish study recently found that a large majority of the addicts receiving methadone would have preferred to be receiving abstinence focused treatment.