Friday, May 11, 2007

Today's Heroin News

Here's a damned fascinating news story out of the UK. In spite of having been on methadone maintenance for 5 years to treat a heroin addiction, a couple was granted funding for fertility treatment from the UK's NHS. The couple had twins, and were allowed to bring their babies home after it was concluded that they were not born addicted to methadone.

Here's the two sides to the story: Professor Neil McKeganey, from the Centre for Drugs Misuse Research at Glasgow, says:
"It is quite wrong for the NHS to fund this sort of treatment for drug users. Studies show children of drug addicts are seven times more likely to take drugs. The NHS are struggling enough to cope with demand so giving drug users fertility treatment is just adding to problems already there. I'm not at all supportive of any drug addict being helped with any type of fertility treatment."
And Dr. Mary Hepburn, a lecturer in women's reproductive health, says:
"It is easy to judge someone on social circumstances. But I cannot see how drug addicts should be prevented from having this treatment any more than someone who smokes, or gets stressed or who has diabetes. In my view, smoking is far more harmful to a baby than a mum who takes drugs, including methadone."
This would NEVER be a debate in the US. My finger hurts.

Here's a story about the outbreak of China White heroin in St. Louis, where there has been a dramatic increase in heroin addiction in recent years.

And another terrible heroin parenting story: In Morgantown, West Virginia, a couple was arrested for shooting up in front of their 15 month old child in the K-Mart parking lot. Fuck.

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