Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The High Cost of Heroin Maintenance in the US

Heroin assisted treatment (Heroin Maintenance) has been used in Europe for years and just recently come to Canada.  In the US there is only one way to be on heroin maintenance, be independently wealthy.
The price per gram in 2002 for heroin was $372 for less than a gram and $240 at the 1-10 gram level.  In the heroin maintenance trial in Canada the average daily dose of diacetylmorphine was about 400 mg.  So lets say you are buying something like a finger every week (8-10 grams).  After doing an extraction following an acid-base reaction you would probably get somewhere between 2-4 grams of reasonably pure diacetylmorphine. Assuming the rate of $240 per gram of heroin to maintain your habit at the same level as the Canadian trials it would cost about $100 a day.  That's 365 days a year for an annual total of around $36,500.  This also assumes you're buying at the medium bulk rate an/or do not have a larger habit than the average patient in the Canadian trial, either one could raise the cost substantially.  Pharmaceutical heroin administered in a clinic setting has costs comparable to methadone.  The lesson here is that to be on heroin maintenance in the US is really expensive.

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