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

Lize Weich


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.


heroin; dependence; addiction; treatment; opioid substitution treatment

Full Text:


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)