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Primary care methadone patients in Ireland were nearly four times more likely to die during periods out of treatment; the first few weeks after leaving were the peak risk period. The study’s support for unbroken, long-term treatment runs counter to recent UK government policy.
Using data pooled from studies in three countries, researchers examined the impact of hepatitis C testing and counselling – and of testing positive versus negative – on whether people who inject drugs become more or less likely to risk infection.
HOT TOPIC 2015 HTM file
Prescribing opiate-type drugs to opiate addicts: good sense or nonsense?
One of our hot topics offering background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. For decades deeply felt and at times intemperate debate has surrounded a treatment which achieves unparalleled success by going with the grain of addiction, prescribing the same type of drug which opiate-dependent patients used illegally – a substitution castigated as surrender or hailed as an enlightened lifesaver.
A study exploring the challenges of defining and measuring ‘outcomes’ and ‘success’ in substance use treatment environments, from the perspective of staff and participants in two different US harm-reduction counselling programmes.
From the USA’s professional society for clinicians and allied professionals in the field of addiction medicine, comprehensive recommendations on how doctors can use medications to treat addiction to heroin and other opioids.
After adjusting for other influences, heroin users diagnosed as dependent at a psychiatric centre in Taiwan who started opioid substitution treatment lived nearly eight years longer than those who did not enter treatment. However, the treated group were more likely to commit suicide, usually associated with a history of depression.
STUDY 2010 HTM file
Women in drug treatment: what the latest figures reveal
National health authority responsible for promoting addiction treatment in says the data shows that women are proportionally well-represented in drug treatment programmes and that services reflect the specific needs of women and their changing patterns of drug use.
Evidence that the supervised injecting centre which opened in 2001 in Sydney’s ‘red light’ district resulted in fewer opioid overdoses requiring an ambulance, relieving pressure on emergency services.
The first study to synthesise the relevant evidence adds weight to the conclusion that methadone programmes protect dependent opiate injectors against HIV infection, and that the evidence in their favour is more convincing than for alternative types of treatments.
For the first time regular checkups to promote treatment re-entry have been tried with an all-female problem substance user caseload, and one leaving prison rather than community-based treatment. Over the first three months more returned to treatment more promptly. Previous studies suggest this will lead to reduced substance use, crime and HIV infections.
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