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Battling to Be Drug-Free

The New York Times today published a letter by Peter Provet, president of Odyssey House, questioning the use of heroin to treat heroin addiction. The letter can be found on page A22 in the print edition. Check it out and let us know what you think.

The New York Times
August 26, 2009
Battling to Be Drug-Free

To the Editor:

“The recently reported heroin research does a disservice to the thousands of heroin abusers who are battling to live drug-free and to gain control over their lives. To say that the “safest and most effective treatment for hard-core heroin addicts” is an injection of prescription heroin undermines the decades of success in becoming drug-free achieved by heroin abusers enrolled in long-term residential treatment programs.It is misleading to suggest that the majority of people who are addicted to one of the world’s most dangerous narcotics can overcome their addiction through use of this drug — even in a controlled way. No treatment regimen is 100 percent effective, but drug-free, abstinence-based models have been proved to offer the best chance of a sustained recovery for hard-core drug abusers.While we support research into heroin abuse and its treatments, and the use of methadone as a treatment option, future studies must include an abstinence-based treatment approach.

Peter Provet
New York, Aug. 24, 2009

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