Fight heroin with heroin, says addiction expert

Prescribing heroin to addicts could be cheaper than methadone, an expert on addiction suggests.

Writing in The BMJ, Professor Martin Schechter says the drug substitute is not always effective, while heroin treatments have been shown to get people clean as well as reduce harm, lower societal cost and make savings for the health care system.

Prof Schechter, of the Faculty of Medicine at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, says the direct cost of heroin-assisted treatment is four times that of traditional treatments.

However, he says heroin treatment still works out to be cheaper when