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This unique randomised trial tested what would happen if detoxified opiate addicts were then maintained on a substitute drug, on an opiate-blocking medication, or simply counselled. The results led to the introduction of methadone prescribing programmes in Malaysia.
As concern mounts about Britain's failure to reverse the recent growth in drug-related deaths, the first large-scale UK follow-up study has assessed the impact of training in overdose recognition and management featuring the opiate blocking drug naloxone.
British needle exchanges which piloted distribution of foil packs for smoking heroin found they were widely used and may have increased attendance and reduced the number of injections, lending weight to calls to legalise such provision.
DOCUMENT 2007 HTM file
Drug misuse in over 16s: psychosocial interventions
After examining the evidence for psychosocial therapies for problem drug use, the UK’s official health advisers recommend behavioural couples therapy and contingency management, argue against cognitive-behavioural therapies, and pose residential rehabilitation as a last resort – in some respects surprising and controversial recommendations.
STUDY 2006 PDF file 152Kb
Naltrexone implants prevent opiate overdose
Short-acting opiate blockers are associated with high overdose rates when heroin-dependent patients stop taking them. This Australian study suggests that a product intended to block opiates for six months can overcome that problem, though patients may resort to sedatives instead.
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.
STUDY 2006 PDF file 139Kb
1 out of 61 hepatitis C positive treatment clients starts medical treatment
Despite testing positive for hepatitis C at a laboratory in Nottingham, just 1 out the 61 patients whose tests were requested by a drug or alcohol service ended up receiving treatment from six months to two and a half years after diagnosis, a dramatic failure to respond to the disease.
STUDY 2006 PDF file 114Kb
Harm reduction education successfully extended to illegal drugs
A small sample of Canadian schools generally endorsed the appropriateness of harm reduction education for older teenagers, and in the two which implemented the programme, substance use and related damage and risk were curbed compared to other local schools.
STUDY 2006 PDF file 108Kb
1 in a 100 chance of dying after treatment with heroin-blocking drug
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.
OFFCUT 2006 PDF file 137Kb
Gaps in British harm reduction defences permit minor resurgence in HIV infection
Gaps in harm reduction defences are permitting a minor resurgence in HIV infection in Britain and continued high rate of spread of hepatitis C; each year of the 2000s injectors were two to three times more likely to be infected with HIV than in the mid-90s.
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