|HEROIN: DUTCH MODEL MERITS A CLOSER LOOK
Dutch heroin statistics need to be taken more seriously.
The Dutch Government claims that young people have virtually stopped using heroin. Only one in 333 secondary students in Amsterdam have tried heroin, while almost one in 20 have tried it in Australia. And a major drug treatment program has recently closed in Amsterdam because of falling demand.
Dutch drugs policy tries to convert cannabis from the main risk factor for heroin use to a major protective factor against heroin use. Doing so also facilitates a return to cannabis use by heroin users.
Treating their policy and practice as trivial or coincidental is contemptuous of the mortality, morbidity and crime that epidemic heroin use causes. Dutch heroin statistics suggest that what we do is push young cannabis users towards heroin and injecting.
Ignoring the only modern policy to work against today's dirt-cheap heroin facilitates death, disease and crime.
MICHAEL A. HADDEN,
MAP posted-by: Allan Wilkinson