Heantos - a strange name for something even more surprising - a cure for drug addiction! It is a herbal based treatment, and its Vietnamese advocates say it ends dependency on heroin, opium, and cocaine within five days. This happens without side effects and without creating dependency on another d rug (as happens with the Methadone treatment). If it is really a cure for addiction, the cost per patient , about $70, would be cheap by any standard.
The Vietnamese government is demonstrating confidence in the product by investing $100,000 dollars in a testing program. The United Nations Development Program is investing $400,000; they are describing Heantos as an "interesting idea that deserves encouragement." The actual testing
will be done under the auspices of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. This is the first time the U.S. and Vietnamese scientists have cooperated on such a venture, a plan that is expected to cost between three and four million dollars and is aimed at securing the approval of our Food and Drug Administration.
Much of the evidence that supports the Vietnamese claims of effectiveness for Heantos is anecdotal; no scientific proof exists. However, since the need is so great and the problem is so urgent, some scientists consider the project worth the risk. The exact ingredients remain a secret known only to a very few people. Its inventor, Tran Khoung Dan, believes in traditional medicines and is said to have cured his own addiction by taking the herbal preparation.