Danes Want Heroin Pills for Addicts

In remarks reported by the Copenhagen Post Sunday, Danish Health Minister Astrid Krag announced that she is proposing that heroin in pill form be made available to addicts. Denmark is one of a handful of European countries that provide maintenance doses of heroin to addicts, but to this point, the drug was only available for injection.

Heroin safer in pill form? Danes thinks so. (wikimedia.org)
It is time to offer users a safer choice, Krag said, adding that the pills should be available next year. She said the Danish Board of Health had evidence to believe making heroin available in pill form would reduce the risks of disease and overdose.

"With tablets, we get a tool that lessens the risk of incorrect dosages, injuries and incidences of cancer," she explained. "This will be an improvement of the current system. It clearly needs to be in place by 2013."

The Danish government approved heroin maintenance in 2008, with the first clinic opening in 2010. There are now five of them. A supervised injection site is set to open in the Copenhagen neighborhood of Vesterbro later this year. In the meantime, a mobile injection site is zooming around the neighborhood.

Opposition conservative party spokespersons said they were open to the proposal, but wondered how it would be paid for. But spokespersons for the government Socialistisk Folkeparti said that was just politics.

"It is remarkable that [the conservative opposition] says that financing must be in place before you make a proposal," said Jonas Dahl, health spokesman for the Socialists. "The working procedure has always been that we first get a professional recommendation from the Board of Health and then find the money."

Copenhagen
Denmark
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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natural is best

How does injection heroin lead to cancer? 

The opiates are actually amazingly safe, especially when compared to alcohol.

Legalize drugs entirely and let people who like opiates have the choice of smoking opium which is far safer than either injection or pills.

utopia

oh what a wonderful denmark

Funny how one of the safest

Funny how one of the safest (if not the safest) classes of drugs (opiates/opioids) is also one of the most physical dependency forming.

It's also my favorite drug type, because over the years that I've been using, I've never had to deal with any sort of disease or disorder directly or indirectly caused by the use of said drug (with the exception of addiction).

What I'm trying to say is, I'm confused as to how opiates/opioids are carcinogenic.  First time I ever heard of anything of the sort.

I hope Danish Health Minister Astrid Krag has not been bullied or threatened by U.S. drug policy lawmakers or law enforcement such as the DEA.  They have been known to pull this type of shit.  Yet when another country asks them to amend one of their laws - usually for a good reason - they're basically told to fuck off.

Cancer

Impurities and adulterants may be carcinogenic. Not the dope.

methadone

Why are they not using Methadone?

Maybe because they aren't

Maybe because they aren't stupid? Most addicts use drugs to feel better...Methadone = Heroin without any chance of feeling any better = Overdose skyrockets... Methadone is also harder to quit because it is long acting...I am sure they had people research all the options and chose the best one which is likely ANY option that the United States of Incarceration DIDN'T choose.

good stuff

i've always liked the idea of oral versions of drugs that are normally injected or snorted; seems likely to be healthier, and it's not like taking a different drug that's supposed to do something similar (like methadone or wellbutrin for cocaine users). it's taking the drug you like itself, so it's more likely to work as a replacement to the your previous habits.

i forgot meth

the taking oral versions of things applies to meth too. probably much healthier than smoking, injecting or snorting.

although smoking opiates might be better

in terms of preventing overdose. i'm not 100% certain about this. as long as you don't combine it with any other depressant (including oral heroin i suppose), i've heard that you can't die by smoking heroin, probably applies to all opiates. but in terms of slowly giving up an addiction, it's probably better to use oral heroin.

OD

One can OD smoking heroin, though I know of no one who did. When smoking opium, the user feels unpleasant and/or gets sick if too much is used. Oxycodone appears to be more dangerous than heroin. OD from smoking seems to be rather common, and without using other drugs. The Danes would produce injectable pills, which could also be sniffed or smoked. Heroin has low oral bioavailability. A substantially higher dose would have to be taken if swallowed. And narcotics taken orally may be more severely addicting, not less. This is true of opium eaten rather than smoked.

Opiates

The only thing wrong with opiates is they're addicting.If you are accepting of that they are very benign to the system.They certainly don't cause cancer.There is no known dose for a heroin pill.There is no option for D morphine other than by injection,although it can be sniffed or smoked.People have overdosed after swallowing heroin so it does work, eventually.I just don't see any program allowing addicts to get 7 times their usual injection dose.That is the difference between swallowing or injecting the other opiate medications.I know the addict would just inject the pills.I would.That is why I see very little chance of this being adopted.Pity.Remember,opium is as natural as cannabis.

I've seen the detrimental

I've seen the detrimental effect marijuana has on society. Degraded intellectual abilities, innovation and progress. I don't want to see society go down the useless drug path. We should all strive for a pure drug free society. How is being drug-free a bad thing? Mary

drink

the only response to drunk driving should be to force drivers to drink. ramo

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