Opiate substitution therapy: supervised-consumption vs take-home doses


Vicky Carlisle publishes her debut elf blog on a Cochrane review of supervised dosing with long-acting opioid medication in the management of opioid dependence.

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Supervised injectable heroin for refractory heroin addiction


Eleanor Kennedy considers a new systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs of diamorphine-prescribing as treatment for refractory heroin addiction.

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How does buprenorphine fair as an alternative to methadone for treating opioid dependence?


Meg Fluharty summarises a recent Cochrane review, which tells us that high-dose buprenorphine is an effective maintenance treatment for heroin compared to placebo, but fixed flexible-dosing methadone is superior to buprenorphine at participant retention.

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Interventions for drug using offenders: What works in reducing drug use and criminal activity?


It is estimated that between 10% (Gunn 1991) and 39% (Brooke 1996) of prisoners in the UK are dependent on illicit drugs; and that 14.5% of male and 31% of female prisoners have serious mental health problems (Steadman 2009). Drug use can be associated with many health, social and criminological consequences; and when mental health [read the full story…]

Methadone for opioid detoxification as effective as other medications, but all have high relapse rates

Heroin addiction

Dependence on opiates (a group of drugs including heroin, morphine, and methadone) can be highly destructive for both the individual and for the people around them. Heroin addiction in particular is associated with major health risks, co-morbid mental health problems, and a wide-range of social issues. Attempting to stop opiate use leads to severe withdrawal [read the full story…]