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Unless there is a compelling medical or social contraindication, results of extended treatment in the Dutch heroin prescribing trials suggest treatment should be continued as long as possible for heroin-addicted patients who have been failed by methadone but benefit from being prescribed heroin.
Though intended for Baltimore this review will be of great value for administrations everywhere considering heroin prescribing programmes. It is particularly useful for its accessible style and hands-on portrayal of existing programmes.
REVIEW 2009 HTM file
Prescription of heroin for the management of heroin dependence: current status
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.
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.
STUDY 2009 HTM file
Heroin-assisted treatment in Switzerland: a case study in policy change
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.
This German study shows that heroin maintenance treatment can contribute to greater reductions in drug and property offences than methadone maintenance.
DOCUMENT 2006 PDF file 1326Kb
The Rolleston legacy
In British drug policy no document has more claim to the term 'classic' than the 1926 Rolleston report, which enshrined doctors' freedom to prescribe opiates to opiate addicts.
STUDY 2003 PDF file 235Kb
First large-scale randomised trial boosts case for heroin prescribing
From the Netherlands, the first large-scale, randomised trial found that for patients previously failed by oral methadone, prescribing injectable or smokable heroin instead greatly reduces crime and improves health and social functioning.
REVIEW 2003 PDF file 925Kb
Controversial, expensive, yet promising so much, interest is increasing in prescribing heroin to heroin addicts. Just five studies hold what answers there are to whether this can work, including a probably unrepeatable early British study.
OFFCUT 2003 PDF file 147Kb
NTA guidance on heroin prescribing
Guidance from the English National Treatment Agency on the prescribing of injectable opioids for the treatment of heroin addiction based on the views of an expert group and a review of the literature.
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