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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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


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