'Defeating the dragon' - can we afford not to treat patients with heroin dependence?

Lize Weich

Abstract


A worrying increase in heroin use disorders has been noted in South Africa over recent years. Despite this, very limited treatment options exist in the state sector. This article provides a brief overview of the local extent of the problem and its implications, and discusses treatment options. It briefly investigates international treatment implementation strategies and makes suggestions for local policy.

Keywords


heroin; dependence; addiction; treatment; opioid substitution treatment

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v16i3.260

Submitted: 04 May 2010
Published: 01 October 2010




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South African Journal of Psychiatry    |    ISSN: 1608-9685 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2078-6786 (ONLINE)