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Articles on Heroin

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While Sydney’s medically supervised injecting centre has had positive results, we need drug consumption rooms all over the country. AAP/Paul Miller

Why Australia needs drug consumption rooms

With use of drugs such as ice on the rise, drug consumption rooms are now being set up in Europe to provide supervised inhalation.
A man injects himself with heroin using a needle obtained from the People’s Harm Reduction Alliance, the nation’s largest needle-exchange program, in Seattle, Washington. David Ryder/Reuters

From the clinic to the street: How the explosion in prescription painkillers has created more heroin users

Why have the demographics of heroin use changed so much? For that, we can look to dramatic increase in prescriptions for opioid painkillers, such as Oxycontin or Vicodin.
Safe injection facilities (SIFs) offer clean syringes, bandages and antiseptics to drug users. SIFs reduce overdose deaths and limit the spread of disease. Andy Clark/Reuters

Safe injection facilities: more than just a place to shoot drugs

Not only can they improve public health and decrease treatment costs, but they can also address one of the root causes of addiction: loneliness.
In states like Massachusetts, heroin overdoses have skyrocketed in recent years. vidguten/Shutterstock

Can medical marijuana curb the heroin epidemic?

In the 1930s, Harry J. Anslinger, the first head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, embarked on a fierce anti-marijuana campaign. Highlighted by the 1936 anti-marijuana film Reefer Madness – where marijuana…
Housing First is a program that offers housing to homeless drug users – regardless of whether or not they’re drug free – with a goal of social recovery. Bryan Guilas/Flickr

Being drug free shouldn’t be a requirement to receive housing

Over the past decade, drug use in the US has risen dramatically, with heroin use reaching epidemic proportions. The country’s policy for combating abuse has involved incarceration, abstinence-only treatment…
Opioid addicts now being armed with overdose antidote. Gretchen Ertl/Reuters

Explainer: naloxone, the antidote to opioid overdose

Many first responders’ – even some university police officers – are carrying a new tool in their first-aid kits. It’s naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote drug, and today it’s more widely available than…
Britain’s heroin habit isn’t what it was. Marcos Mesa, Sam Wordley via Shutterstock

Drug policy is working – why do we prefer to think otherwise?

On all sides, our politicians and commentators seem convinced Britain’s drug policy has been a failure. Party conference season saw Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg rehash his old refrain that we’ve…
People overdose from illicit substances, such as heroin, or prescription medications, such as valium or opioid painkillers. Thomas Marthinsen/Flickr

Three things you need to know about drug overdoses

In 2012, 103,000 people around the world lost their lives to drug poisoning or overdose. As terrible as this waste of life seems, it’s important to remember that drug overdoses are not inevitably fatal…
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death has caused old myths about heroin to come to the fore again. ANDREW GOMBERT/EPA

Three persistent myths about heroin use and overdose deaths

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death earlier this week from a suspected heroin overdose unleashed the usual media coverage of deaths related to this drug. While the actor’s actual cause of death has not yet…
Existing evidence for distributing naloxone to prevent overdose deaths is weak. intropin/Flickr

Should naloxone be used to reduce opioid overdoses?

It’s now almost two years since ACT chief minister and minister for health, Katy Gallagher, launched Australia’s first program to distribute naloxone to prevent heroin overdoses. Other states have followed…
Despite the billions of dollars spent on the ‘war on drugs’, a 2012 survey reported that most respondents find cannabis easy to obtain. Periódico El Ciudadano

Get smarter about illicit drugs to help balance the budget

A sudden reduction in corporate profits has blown a $12 billion hole in the federal budget. This development should spark a debate within and outside government about how we deal with illicit drugs in…

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