Behavior: Quarantining Addicts

Drug addiction would seem to have little in common with smallpox. But according to Swedish Psychiatrist Nils Bejerot, the two scourges are remarkably similar. Though one is spread by example and one by a virus, both, he says, are contagious, epidemic diseases that can best be contained by quarantining their victims. To curb the spread of heroin and other hard-drug abuse, Bejerot proposes, the U.S. should establish compulsory, drug-free rehabilitation "villages" in secluded areas to keep addicts from infecting healthy nonusers.

Bejerot is a researcher in social medicine at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute and...

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