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REVIEW 2012 HTM file
Drug policy and the public good: evidence for effective interventions
Review of relevant research by an international team of leading researchers offers policymakers guidance on the interventions most likely on the evidence to achieve national policy aims in respect of illegal drug use.
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 2003 PDF file 164Kb
Naltrexone implants could reduce the early relapse rate after detoxification
Studies from the UK and Germany suggest that subcutaneous implants of naltrexone which block the effects of heroin for up to seven weeks could help reduce the early relapse rate after detoxification more effectively than the oral form of the medication.
The first trial of implanted versus oral naltrexone found that the implants' extended opiate-blocking action helps avoid relapse to regular opiate use – but the action was not as extended as hoped, non-opiate use was greater, and there were more unpleasant side-effects.
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 162Kb
Long-acting depot naltrexone extends opiate abstinence
A long-acting version of the opiate blocking drug naltrexone nearly doubled the time heroin dependent patients were retained in abstinence-based treatment, creating an opiate-free space during which to begin the construction of non-addicted lifestyles.
In the first study of its kind opiate-dependent prisoners in Norway were randomly allocated to a six-month implant which blocks the effects of heroin or to methadone which substitutes for heroin as a way of bridging the period after release. Among the few interested in either option, they led to equivalent reductions in opiate use and crime.
STUDY 2010 HTM file
Treatment research in prison: problems and solutions in a randomized trial
In the first study of its kind, as a way of bridging the period after release opiate-dependent prisoners in Norway were randomly allocated to a six-month implant which blocks the effects of heroin or to methadone which substitutes for heroin. Many prisoners rejected treatment, wrongly believing they would sustain abstinence on release.
Despite being motivated to sustain abstinence and implanted with a drug which should have blocked the effects of opiates, in Norwegian studies most opiate-dependent patients used opiates and about a quarter did so repeatedly.
STUDY 2010 HTM file
Retention in naltrexone implant treatment for opioid dependence
In Norway over half the opiate dependent patients implanted with the opiate blocking drug naltrexone opted for another implant after six months when the first had worn off, giving themselves a year in which to construct a life no longer reliant on the effects of heroin.
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