A Law School professor yesterday advocated the adoption of a heroin maintenance program "to protect the addict's health and benefit society through a reduction in crime."
Alan M. Dershowitz, professor of Law, called heroin maintenance "a humane and effective approach to drug addiction." "It is the least worst alternative available to us," he added.
Dershowitz aired his views at a taping of "The Advocates" television program last night at Faneuil Hall.
William Rusher, publisher of the National Review and Dershowitz's opponent in the debate, argued that a heroin maintenance program is impractical because an addict needs between four and six fixes a day.
"If you let him administer the necessary dose at home, he can sell it illegally; and if you force the addict to come to the clinic this often, you isolate him from society."
Dershowitz said that the current methadone rehabilitation programs have not proved successful in reducing addiction because they fail to attract addicts.
Heroin: 'A Crime'
The problem with methadone programs is that heroin addiction is considered a crime, rather than a disease, Dershowitz said. As a result, he added, addicts are reluctant to come forward and enter the programs.
In the proposed rehabilitation program, doctors would determine an individual's physical level of addiction and administer the necessary dose of heroin at the clinic, Dershowitz said.