Scottish researchers from Universities of Edinburgh, Napier and Adelaide have found out an alternative painkiller, dihydrocodeine for treating HEROIN addicts. The new drug costs half as much as methadone and is much safer and less toxic too.
'The study findings could have major implications for drug treatment programmes'- say the researchers of the study. This three and a half year long study is the first of its kind in the world, which assessed 235 people requiring treatment for heroin addiction in the city over three years.
The researchers added that dihydrocodeine is easier to store in contrast to methadone, which comes in the liquid form and also comes under less stringent regulations as it is less toxic and is less likely to cause fatal overdoses.
While methadone treatments costs almost Ģ1500 a year for one patient, dihydrocodeine treatments costs only about Ģ700.
Dihydrocodeine has been used for years to treat drug addicts and is often preferred in situations where methadone is seen as hazardous, such as police custody or prison. However, its effectiveness had never been tested before.