Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Head To Head

Should heroin be prescribed to heroin misusers? No

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 10 January 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:71

Rapid Response:

No to prescribing heroin to addicts

I find it difficult to see why a heroin addicts should be singled out
to receive maintenance prescritptions of heroin.
My experience as a GP dealing with this group of patients is that they
have considerable pyschological, social and physical problems. However
feeding them drugs in the long run is less helpful than aiming for
abstinence. It is important to treat their dependency not maintain their
drug addiction. We do not suggest to alcoholics that they have maintenance
doses of alcohol. We offer them detoxification, advice and support and
help with trying to maintain abstinent. We should aim to reduce the
dependence of all addicts on drugs but this requires comprehensive and
well organised services rather than the patchy treatment available

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

11 January 2008
Julian C Law
Kyle of Lochalsh IV408DD