Thursday, August 19, 2004

Free Heroin From Government for Vancouver Addicts
Free heroin project wins federal OK
CanWest News Service
Thursday, August 19, 2004

VANCOUVER -- Ottawa has given conditional approval to the dispensing of free heroin to drug addicts in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
The North American Opiate Medication Initiative will recruit 158 local drug-users for the 21-month pilot project, set to begin by the end of the year.
Health Canada said it wants adequate security measures in place for staff and users before full permission is granted.
Initiative spokesman Jim Boothroyd said the clinic to be used for the project will have "extraordinarily high levels of security" because it will have heroin on site.
The project will include the delivery of heroin to the clinic by armoured truck.
In the study, 88 people will receive prescribed heroin; another 70 will get methadone. The first North American study of its kind, it has the blessing of the federal government and Vancouver police.

© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2004