Letters Heroin prescription to misusers

Treat patients, not communities

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39465.512373.3A (Published 24 January 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:173
  1. Andrew J Ashworth, general practitioner
  1. 1Davidsons Mains Medical Centre, Edinburgh EH4 5BP
  1. andrew.ashworth{at}lothian.scot.nhs.uk

    Prescribing heroin to those who use it other than for analgesia simply redefines “offenders” as “patients.”1 2 The term “misuser” implies a lack of social acceptance. Prescription removes the “mis” but, in so doing, allows the “user” to re-enter the social group and solves crime at a stroke by legitimising previously criminal behaviour.

    People with drug problems …

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