Thursday, April 17, 2008

CHALLENGING SUCCESS OF HONG KONG'S ADDICTION TREATMENT RESPONSE:

South China Morning Post (HK) reported on April 10th that the government Auditor is urging that existing treatment services be “shaken up.” Sometimes one loses sight of the forest for the trees; local Audit staff seem unaware that Hong Kong’s response to the problem of heroin addiction, and most particularly its methadone programme, have for over three decades been acknowledged by countries throughout the world to be a model of effectiveness, and one that many have sought to emulate. The extremely low HIV infection rate among drug users in Hong Kong is dramatic testimony to that effectiveness. Among the Audit Director's recommendations: reallocation of funds from methadone to other forms of treatment, and “…stepped up efforts to encourage more methadone patients to undergo detoxification . . . “

Success on the narcotic addiction front is exceedingly rare; Hong Kong must not jeopardize what it has achieved. For full Audit report (which was released March 2008) on Treatment and Rehabilitation Programmes in Hong Kong, click here

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