Cabinet expands free supply of heroin
18 June 2004
AMSTERDAM — The experimental free supply of heroin on prescription to long-term addicts will be expanded to 15 other Dutch municipalities.
Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst said the Cabinet decided on Friday to allocate an extra EUR 1 million to the project, news agency ANP reported.
An experiment with the free supply of heroin has been operating successfully in the four largest Dutch cities — Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht — plus Heerlen and Groningen for some time.
But despite great enthusiasm for the project from the six city councils, the Cabinet opted in December to delay expanding the experiment.
Several smaller cities were keen to also become involved in the project, but were forced to wait until another evaluation had been conducted of the present project.
The experiment in supplying heroin to several hundred chronic long-term addicts had previously indicated that the level of criminality had significantly reduced.
The Trimbos Institute — which is involved in mental health and addiction — also said the physical and mental health of long-term addicts improved with the supply of heroin.
And in combination with methadone programmes, it asserted the trial had also led to a reduction in supplementary drug use.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news