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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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Q:

You've mentioned that.

Lasker:

Its usefulness has been very much made known by Doctors Dole and Nyswander at Rockefeller University here. It is a narcotic itself but it has very few bad side effects, and it definitely takes people who are on heroin off heroin, and once they transfer from heroin to methadone, they don't seem to feel the need of heroin any more. They are rehabilitatable and are able to - about 80 percent of them, able to go back to normal life and jobs.

Q:

Easing them out of the drug habit --

Lasker:

-- yes, it is, it's a way of breaking the addiction by a less dangerous addiction. New York City is full of crime due to heroin, as you know, and I've urged the Mayor to put substantial funds into this. He's put practically no city money in it. Such money as has been used is New York State money, about two million dollars at Beth Israel Hospital, - and New York State has also given a lot of money to treatment centers where there would be therapy or some social rehabilitation. Now, probably they need all these things but most of them don't get off the drug and don't stay off it. The minute they leave any sheltered atmosphere they're back on it again. Methadone seems to be the only thing.



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