Canada Giving Methadone to Heroin-Addicted Prisoners
On December 1, in an effort to curb the spread of AIDS and HIV in Canada's federal prisons, the Correctional Service of Canada began giving methadone to heroin-addicted inmates. The program is designed to help eliminate needle sharing and drug use in prisons altogether, said Corrections Canada spokesman John Vandermolen. Only heroin addicts who were taking methadone at the time of their entrance into prison qualify for the program for now, Vandermolen added. Those not taking methadone before their prison term and those who became addicted to heroin during their prison term are exempt for now, he said. There are now 158 inmates known to have HIV and 20 with AIDS living in Canada's federal prisons compared to 14 cases total in 1988 ("Addicted Cons Get Methadone," Edmonton Sun, December 2, 1997).