How France cut heroin overdoses by 79 percent in 4 years
In the 1980s, France went through a heroin epidemic in which hundreds of thousands became addicted.6 May 2018
Mohamed Mechmache, a community activist, described the scene in the poor banlieues back then: “To begin with, they would disappear to shoot up. But after a bit we’d see them all over the place, in the stairwells and halls, the bike shed, up on the roof with the washing lines. We used to collect the syringes on the football pitch before starting to play," he told The Guardian in 2014.
The rate of overdose deaths was rising 10 percent a year, yet treatment was mostly limited to counseling at special substance-abuse clinics.
In 1995, France made it so any doctor could prescribe buprenorphine without any special licensing or training. Buprenorphine, a first-line treatment for opioid addiction, is a medication that reduces cravings for opioids without becoming addictive itself.Share this on: