Opinion Paper

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

Lize Weich
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 16, No 3 | a260 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v16i3.260 | © 2010 Lize Weich | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 May 2010 | Published: 01 October 2010

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Lize Weich, University Stellenbosch, South Africa

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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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