DUT pilots project to help heroin addicts

DUT pilots project to help heroin addicts

DUT's Urban Futures Centre hopes an 18-month opioid substitution therapy demonstration will yield positive results. 

Academic programme expected to resume in DUT
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The pilot project will see heroin users given Methadone as a substitute for the drug. 

Research professor - Monique Marks is hopeful government will get on board and fund the programme.

"Methadone has opium in it just like heroin does. It's produced pharmaceutically. It substitutes for heroin, but it doesn't give that euphoria - it allows you to function in a much more productive way," she said.

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Marks says believes users should receive support instead of being punished with jail-time in an effort to control the scourge of drugs in South Africa.

"Some peopla are either unwilling or unable to give up drugs. What we need to do is accept that as a reality, and meet drug users where they're at. For people that are injecting, particularly heroin, what we should be doing is ensure when they inject, they do so as safely as possible," she said.

The Durban University of Technology - in partnership with the TB/HIV Care Association - will host a seminar aimed at reducing harmful drug use next week.

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