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The observation that craving can precipitate relapse to heroin use or drop-out even among methadone-maintained patients led to this search for evidence that other medications can help suppress the urge to use; buprenorphine had the most extensive positive research record to date.
Detailed and fully referenced notes on preventing the diversion of maintenance medications like methadone on to the illicit market, with an emphasis on the pros and cons of supervised consumption.
How a damaging and socially divisive drug scene in Switzerland led that country to try prescribing heroin to heroin addicts and the political and cultural processes behind this experimental programme becoming accepted practice.
In Australia heroin-addicted patients trying to avoid relapse by taking the opiate-blocking drug naltrexone had at least a 1 in a 100 chance of dying within three months, usually from overdose in the weeks after treatment ended; the true figure may have been as high as 8 in a 100.
What can you do if patients have to wait for a methadone slot? This US study found that offering a bare-bones substitute prescribing service during the waiting period meant patients felt better, used drugs less and were more likely eventually to enter the fully-fledged programme.
From some of the same Australian authors who produced classic texts on maintenance prescribing for heroin addiction, a major new text analysing research on all types of drug-based interventions including maintenance, opiate-blocking drugs, and managing withdrawal.
Should heroin prescribing be a mass treatment entry route or a niche option for the few who have not done well in optimised (but still cheaper) mainstream treatments? With nearly all the latest studies to hand, this review came down firmly on the 'niche' side of the debate.
About a third of Britain's heroin dependent patients also have problems with crack cocaine. Can opiate substitute prescribing help with both problems, and which special anti-cocaine therapies are worth adding on? This review trawled the international research for the answers.
Largely due to the expansion of low threshold oral methadone maintenance programmes, in the '90s the life expectancy of heroin users entering treatment in Barcelona increased by 21 years. Protecting against overdose was the main way methadone saved lives.
From Baltimore a study which shows that offering substitution treatment in prison to offenders whose offending was driven by opiate dependence means they are much more likely to continue treatment on release, helping to cut crime.
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