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STUDY 2006 PDF file 114Kb
Low threshold methadone extends life expectancy in Barcelona
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.
This British study concluded that it takes extended opiate substitute prescribing to realise the treatment's life-saving potential. The implication is that the current push to get people off methadone sooner could cost lives.
NOTES 2010 PDF file 239Kb
Preventing unauthorised use of medications prescribed for the treatment of opiate addiction
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.
Unequivocal backing from UN agencies for methadone and other forms of long term maintenance treatments as the prime modality for the treatment of dependence on heroin and allied drugs. In contrast say the experts, detoxification results in poor long term outcomes.
Survey responses from clinicians prescribing methadone at Scottish addiction treatment clinics show how the requirement that patients be observed taking the medication involves striking a balance between safety, individualising treatment, and attracting and retaining patients.
DOCUMENT 2012 HTM file
Medications in recovery: re-orientating drug dependence treatment
On behalf of the UK government an expert group has developed and documented a clinical consensus on how prescribing-based treatment for heroin addiction can be made more recovery-oriented in line with national strategy. Their report will be the main reference point in tussles over what recovery means for methadone services and patients.
REVIEW 2011 HTM file
Substitution treatment of injecting opioid users for prevention of HIV infection
Updated review conducted for the respected Cochrane collaboration finds that methadone maintenance and allied treatments for opioid dependence consistently and significantly reduce the risk of transmission of blood-borne viruses and curb the spread of HIV.
This wide-ranging review uniquely draws together findings from authoritative reviews of rigorous research conducted for the Cochrane collaboration and later studies concerned with the pharmacological and psychosocial treatment of dependence on opiate-type drugs like heroin, concluding that retention is the common key to success.
Introduced in Scotland and England in the mid-late 1990s to prevent overdose, did supervised consumption of methadone really make methadone maintenance safer? After accounting for increased prescribing, this analysis concludes that it did curb methadone-related deaths.
From Norway, strong evidence that being in a methadone or buprenorphine maintenance programme protects heroin-dependent patients from drug-related ill-health including life-threatening overdoses and infections, even if the treatment has not completely subdued illegal drug use.
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