Nation: How Addicts Are Treated

HEROIN was believed to be harmless when it was developed in Germany in 1898 as a morphine substitute and cough suppressant. Only later was it realized that it was twice as potent as morphine. No one treatment for heroin addiction works in all cases, and there are almost as many approaches to the problem as there are experts.

One method is the so-called "British system," based on the operating premise that heroin addiction is a sickness, not a crime. As originally conceived, the system allowed British physicians who were convinced that complete withdrawal would...

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