Norway to give hundreds of addicts free heroin 'to improve quality of life'

By TheBigBadWolf · Aug 16, 2018 · ·
  1. TheBigBadWolf
    Norway will trial an experimental scheme to provide drug addicts with free heroin in a bid to combat the country’s overdose epidemic.
    The government announced that the Norwegian Directorate for Health and Social Affairs was asked to propose a program that would improve the quality of life for those struggling with substance abuse.

    Health Minister Bente Hoie said in a statement posted to Facebook that they hoped the initiative would “provide a solution that will give... a better quality of life to some addicts who are today out of our reach and whom current programmes do not help enough”.

    Norway has the highest rate of overdose mortality in Europe with such deaths accounting for 80 per million people in 2015.

    Mr Hoie added to The Aftenposten newspaper that they were keen to develop a heroin treatment program. “ We want to help those are difficult to reach, those who are not part of LAR (drug-assisted rehabilitation) and who are difficult to treat,” he said.

    The pilot programme will begin in 2020, and will see up to 400 addicts prescribed heroin for medicinal purposes. It is unclear patients will be selected or how much of the drug will be prescribed.

    In 2017 Norway became the first scandinavian country to decriminalise drugs after a historic vote. It came after Norway's Country Drug Report revealed that there had been 266 drug-related deaths in 2014.

    At the time Sveinung Stensland, Deputy Chairman of the Storting Health Committee, told Norwegian publication VG that it was important that the focus moved from punishment to treatment.
    "It is important to emphasise that we do not legalise cannabis and other drugs, but we decriminalise," hee said.

    "The change will take some time, but that means a changed vision´: Those who have a substance abuse problem should be treated as ill, and not as criminals with classical sanctions such as fines and imprisonment."

    Medical heroin therapy is already adopted or tested in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Denmark (and Germany, addition mine, BBW) and supporters of the scheme believe it will reduce deaths and crime rates.

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    Written by: Toyin Owoseye, Aug 11, 2018, Norway will trial an experimental scheme to provide drug addicts with free heroin in a bid to combat,

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Recent User Reviews

  1. David your friend
    "Well-written article!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Aug 19, 2018
    This article is very interesting, well-written, & brief. It was definitely worth reading in my opinion.

    Article contains up-to-date statistics. Statistics are compared with those of the past, which showcases the progression of trends such as:
    • opioid overdose deaths,
    • drug-related overdose deaths,
    • drug-related mortality rate.
    Even includes photo credit!


  1. DrB3
    I went to a conference for Addiction Medicine physicians in San Francisco a few months back. We had a presentation of this as an experimental treatment from a western Canadian presenter.

    All of us practically fell out of our chairs. I think it was the loss of balance when all our jaws dropped open. This won't be coming to a theater near you any time soon if you're in the U.S.

    We hear all sorts of lectures with creative ways to try and treat opioid dependency. But continued IV heroin use, only with higher quality dope, 4 times a day and free, didn't get a particularly receptive response despite the relative liberalism of California AdMed specialists. But hey, Norway. Beautiful place.
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