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HOT TOPIC 2020 HTM file
Time for safer injecting spaces in Britain?
‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Drug consumption rooms are a particularly contentious form of harm reduction, viewed on one hand as a practical, humane, life-saving approach to dangerous drug use, and on the other, as an endorsement of drugtaking and a dereliction of the duty to treat people dependent on drugs.
‘How can the design of drug consumption rooms be optimised to maximise their benefits?’ – a question that has tended to be overlooked in the wider debate about whether consumption rooms should be established in the first place. The featured study goes inside North America’s first women-only safer injecting facility, which emerged in response to an epidemic of fatal drug overdoses and an epidemic of violence against women.
STUDY 2008 HTM file
High risk of overdose death for opiate detoxification completers
Findings from Italy and Australia warn that detoxification without throughgoing stabilisation, preparation and aftercare is too often a band-aid measure which risks more harm then good.
IN PRACTICE 2004 PDF file 418Kb
Giving the silent majority a voice
Constrained by guidelines and standards, a UK prescribing service could do little to respond to user survey feedback.
STUDY 1999 PDF file 255Kb
Methadone treatment cost-effective life saver
Three studies which show that getting in to and staying in methadone treatment cost-effectively saves the lives of heroin addicts. Conversely, being denied treatment or discharged for rule-breaking costs lives.
STUDY 2000 PDF file 111Kb
Careful induction prevents overdose deaths among methadone patients
Studies from Australia and Scotland both find that overdose death during methadone maintenance is closely related to continued illegal drug use in the early stages of treatment.
STUDY 2001 PDF file 161Kb
Under-dosing and poor initial assessment undermine success of British methadone services
Reports from the NTORS study in England confirm that the benefits of methadone prescribing persist to two years after treatment entry though nearly a fifth of patients do not respond well to an often ill-defined programme not delivered as intended.
STUDY 2001 PDF file 188Kb
Outcomes from GP methadone maintenance in Britain match those from specialist clinics
Findings from Liverpool make a valuable addition to a limited UK evidence base confirming that outcomes from addiction treatment by well-supported GPs are at least as good as those achieved by specialist clinics.
STUDY 2004 PDF file 159Kb
Methadone maintenance as low-cost lifesaver
US studies find that even when slow methadone detoxification is bolstered by psychosocial therapy and aftercare, methadone maintenance does better at prolonging the lives of opiate-dependent patients at relatively little extra cost.
Limited access to opiate substitute prescribing in Norway opened a window on its powerful lifesaving potential, a view obscured in countries where barriers create a confounding selection effect or where everyone who needs and wants this treatment can quickly get it.
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