The fight against drug addiction
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has introduced a program that would fund acupuncture detoxification and prescription of buprenorphine to curb a growing heroin-addiction problem, the Boston Herald reported March 20. "Substance abuse is a human issue. It's our sister, our brothers, our cousins, our neighbors," said Menino. "We're all in this together."
In the past two years in the city, heroin-related hospitalizations increased 78 percent. Over the past 10 years, heroin-related deaths increased 500 percent. The city has also seen a significant increase in the use of OxyContin in the last three years.
Under Menino's program, $180,000 would be spent on doubling the number of city-sponsored acupuncture detoxification visits to 3,000 a year. The treatment helps addicted individuals cope with withdrawal symptoms.
In addition, the number of doctors who can distribute buprenorphine in their office would double to 10.
Community groups would also be offered grants under the program.