New York:

Prescribing heroin to addicts who can't kick their habit helps them stay off street drugs, British researchers said Friday.

So far, doctors have had little hope of treating the 10 percent or more of heroin users who don't respond to methadone, the standard anti-addiction medication. Fueled by drug cravings, those users often spiral downward into crime and diseases spread by dirty needles and unhealthy living.

Short of actually getting addicts off the drug, "heroin clinics" can at least get them off the streets.

This is so obvious. If we can get over our drug phobias—specifically, the fear of other people who can be high and civil (the high nuisances are another story)—we can get lots of drug users off the streets, off the theft sprees, and out of the emergency rooms.