PRELIMINARY FAVORABLE RESULTS OF SUPERVISED HEROIN TREATMENT REPORTED IN LAY PRESS IN UK:
The Independent headline says it all: "Britain's first drug 'shooting galleries' hailed a success," and is echoed by the accompanying editorial comment under the title, "Leading article: 'Shooting galleries' work" - both published Nov. 20. The positive outcomes were with regard to the individuals who received IV heroin; two other groups, receiving oral and IV methadone, respectively, are not mentioned in the Independent story.
The one disappointing note is the final line in the editorial: "The next stage is to wean addicts off their drugs. That has yet to be tested." To the extent it is implied that total abstinence from heroin and all other medication is the goal, one can readily predict the results of such a "test" on the basis of many decades of experience. Probably this is just an incorrect understanding of the protocol and future plans for extension.
More specifics as to the trial procedures and outcomes will hopefully be forthcoming before long. Meanwhile, the trial itself is a tribute to the investigators, the government authorities that permitted it, and of course the patients. URL for the article and the editorial: