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Drug Control Policy
Narcotic Maintenance Programs
Lower Abuse & Addiction In France

An News Analysis By Terence T. Gorski
GORSKI-CENAPS Web Publications
www.tgorski.com
Published On: <DATE>          Updated On: August 07, 2001
© Terence T. Gorski, 2001

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The United States is currently operating on a Criminal Justice Drug Policy that prohibits the use of illegal control substances.  AS a result the US policy frowns upon the use of maintenance programs as a viable strategy in combating drug use insisting instead that all narcotics addicts become abstinent or suffer imprisonment as a consequence.  The results of recent research in France shows that there may be a more effective policy.

Since 1996 France has been operating under a Public Health Addiction Policy that allows narcotic addicts to be treated with maintenance therapy that uses both methadone and high-dosage buprenorphine.  The effects of this policy were recently studies by examining the changes in drug use patterns reflected in the annual surveys conducted by the French program for the monitoring of drug dependence (OPPIDUM) at specialized drug care centers in 1995, 1996 and 1997.  The study involved 16 centers and 1,597 patient records.  The results were reported in a recent article in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs entitled Recent Evolution in Opiate Dependence in France During Generalization of Maintenance Treatments  

The results suggest that a national policy of providing narcotic maintenance using both methadone and high-dosage buprenorphine will result:  

1.         An increase in the number of patients participating in maintenance treatment (based upon an increase from 14% to 69% in France);

2.         A reduction in the number of intravenous drug users (based upon a decrease from 55% to 22% in France);

3.         A reduction in overall consumption of psychoactive substances.  

 It's time that the United States appointed a bi-partisan committee to study its national drug control policy to see if policies that are reducing substance abuse and addiction in other countries may be effective in managing the drug problem in the United States.

References

Thirion X., Micallef J., Barrau K. , Djezzar S. , Lambert H. , Sanmarco J.L. and G. Lagier. Recent Evolution in Opiate Dependence in France During Generalization of Maintenance Treatments, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 61(3): 281-85, 2001.  

E-mail the Authors:  oppidum@medecine.univ-mrs.fr

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About the Author

Terence T. Gorski is an internationally recognized expert on substance abuse, mental health, and related criminal justice issues.  He is well known for his contributions to relapse prevention, managing chemically dependent offenders, and developing community-based teams for managing the problems of alcohol, drugs, and crime.  He is President of the CENAPS Corporation, a training and consultation firm of founded in 1982 that is committed to providing the most advanced training and consultation in the chemical dependency and behavioral health fields.

Gorski has also developed skills training workshops and a series of low-cost book, workbooks, pamphlets, audio and videotapes. He also works with a team of trainers and consultants who can assist individuals and programs to utilize his ideas and methods.
Terry Gorski is available for personal and program consultation, lecturing, and clinical skills training workshops. He also routinely schedules workshops, executive briefings, and personal growth experiences for clinicians, program managers, and policymakers.

Terry Gorski and Other Members of the GORSKI-CENAPS Team Are Available To Train & Consult On Areas Related To Addiction & Mental Health
Gorski - CENAPS, 17900 Dixie Hwy, Homewood, IL 60430, 708-799-5000 www.tgorski.com, www.cenaps.com, www.relapse.org

This article is copyrighted by Terence To Gorski.  Permission is given to reproduce this article if the following conditions are met:  (1) The authorship of the article is properly referenced and the internet address is given;  (2) All references to the following three websites are retained when the article is reproduced - www.tgorski.com, www.cenaps.com, www.relapse.org, www.relapse.net; (3) If the article is published on a website a reciprocal link to the four websites listed under point two is provided on the website publishing the article.
 

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