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Health insurance companies cover the costs of controlled heroin dispensing for severely dependent patients.
The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) decided that the statutory health insurance companies will have to pay for the diamorphine treatment of severely dependent people in the future. The Diamorphine therapy is the controlled delivery of heroin to heavily dependent drug addicts. Diamorphine is an artificially produced heroin. Heroin (diamorphine) therapy is only considered if conventional therapies such as methadone release did not lead to the desired therapeutic goal. In addition, patients must be addicted to heroin for at least five years, have completed two unsuccessful drug therapies, and be 23 years old. In the course of diamorphine treatment, psycho-social therapeutic support is required for at least six months.
So far, diamorphine has only been administered to severely dependent patients who were part of a nationwide model project with a strict exemption in drug outpatient clinics. The project was officially discontinued in 2006. However, since the therapy turned out to be very successful, six major cities continued the project. So far, the costs have been paid by the municipalities in the cities. After years of political controversy, the controlled release of heroin to severely dependent people can finally take place.
In the Netherlands, heroin has been released to drug addicts in a controlled manner since 2005. According to an assessment by epidemiologists in the British Medical Gazette (BMJ 2005; 330: 1297-1302), the controlled delivery of heroin in the Netherlands, for example, has also led to a decrease in the crime rate of drug addicts. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, around 150,000 people in Germany are suffering from severe drug addiction. About half of the patients are treated with the replacement drug methadone. However, methadone therapy does not work in around 1,000 patients, since drug addiction has already passed a severe stage of the disease. Controlled delivery of heroin is sometimes the only way for survivors to survive. In 2008, 1,449 people in Germany died of drug addiction. (sb, March 19, 2010)
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Press release Federal Joint Committee