VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Now that Vancouver’s supervised injection site is here for good, an internationally renowned Vancouver doctor is suggesting we can do much more to save the lives of addicts.

Dr. Julio Montaner with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS says it’s time to look into providing heroin for hardcore users.

He believes it doesn’t make much sense to provide a place for people to safely inject drugs, when it’s well known those drugs have been altered with toxic ingredients.

“Let’s be clear, I’m not talking about giving heroin to high school kids who come in and say ‘Hi, I’d like to try this,’” he insists, saying the program would be tailored to certain individuals.

“Heavily dependent individuals who have failed methadone treatment in the past would be safely offered medicalized heroin,” he adds.

Montaner points out a local trial called the NAOMI Study found that giving heroin to addicts improved their health and cut down on crime.  Addicts in countries such as Germany, Spain and Switzerland already get free doses of heroin.

“Controversy is not the problem,” he says. “We’ve got to sit down and look at the evidence.”