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Expanding access to medication is an important public health strategy for tackling opioid use disorder, concludes US government agency guidelines. While some people stop using opioids without medication, many benefit from access to methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine for varying lengths of time, including lifelong treatment.
HOT TOPIC 2018 HTM file
Opiate-blocking implants: magic bullet or dangerous experiment?
‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Opinion is sharply divided on the ethics and effectiveness of long-acting implanted or injected opiate-blocking medications, products not approved for medical practice in the UK, but which some see as a major breakthroughs in overcoming addiction to heroin and allied drugs.
Added to basic counselling alone, monthly injections of the opioid-blocking drug naltrexone helped prevent relapse among US offenders with a history of opioid dependence recently released from prison or under criminal justice supervision in the community – findings most applicable to those who prefer opioid-free to opioid-maintenance treatments.
MATRIX CELL 2018 HTM file
Drug Treatment Matrix cell B3: Practitioners; Medical treatment
Seminal and key research and reviews on the influence of the practitioner in the medical treatment of drug dependence. Investigates the how clinician-patient relationships might be affected by enforcing clinic rules and the potential importance of doctors forming a “whole person’ relationship with patients.
Can monthly injections of extended-release naltrexone be considered on a par with the standard daily opioid substitute in Norway for people wanting to maintain abstinence from heroin?
Though few seemed willing to try this treatment, among those who did, opiate-blocking injections active for about a month helped formerly dependent prisoners in New York City’s jail avoid relapse to regular opiate use after release.
From the USA’s professional society for clinicians and allied professionals in the field of addiction medicine, comprehensive recommendations on how doctors can use medications to treat addiction to heroin and other opioids.
Long-acting injectable naltrexone blocks the effects of opiates for about a month and has also helped dependent drinkers cut back. Treatment records in the US state of Missouri showed that among the few problem substance using offenders allocated to or who chose this treatment, a much higher proportion became abstinent than those offered other kinds of addiction treatment.
REVIEW 2010 HTM file
Long-acting depot formulations of naltrexone for heroin dependence: a review
Researcher responsible for a major Russian trial of long-acting naltrexone for the treatment of heroin dependence reviews the effectiveness and safety of this form of the drug and of another long-acting form implanted under the skin.
Would dually addicted heroin and stimulant users fitted with an opiate-blocking naltrexone implant simply escalate their stimulant use? The issue is important because multi-drug use is the norm. In this Finnish-Russian study it was the reverse – amphetamine use decreased as well as heroin use.
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