The entries below are our accounts of documents collected by Drug and Alcohol Findings as relevant to improving outcomes from drug or alcohol interventions in the UK. The original documents were not published by Findings; click on the Titles to obtain copies. Free reprints may also be available from the authors. If displayed, click prepared e-mail to adapt the pre-prepared e-mail message or compose your own message. The Summary is intended to convey the findings and views expressed in the document. Below may be a commentary from Drug and Alcohol Findings.
Heroin prescribing has retreated in Britain from the mainstay of opiate addiction treatment available from any GP to a niche option for a few hundred patients treated by psychiatric specialists. Withering in its UK homeland, the treatment was reborn in continental Europe, but transformed by a different inheritance in to a tightly controlled option for failed methadone patients, who had to take their drugs at the clinic under medical supervision and accompanied by intensive psychosocial therapy. The first entry in the bulletin largely reflects the results of this transformation in the form of an update of a Cochrane synthesis of the research. Via continental Europe, this new way of working came to Britain, and was tested in the RIOTT trial. The next two entries complement its main results with data on the impact on the local community of the clinic in London, confounding fears that addicts attending twice a day to take prescribed heroin was a recipe for drug-related disorder and nuisance. Finally, from the days of the Drug and Alcohol Findings magazine, we take this opportunity to remind readers of the searching review we conducted of the evidence, and of the fascinating origins of the British model of addiction treatment featuring indefinite heroin prescribing, formalised in the wake of the First World War.