Home > ROSIE study shows positive impact of opiate treatment.

Long, Jean (2008) ROSIE study shows positive impact of opiate treatment. Drugnet Ireland , Issue 28, Winter 2008 , pp. 11-12.

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On 9 October 2008 the NACD published a summary of opiate treatment outcomes at one year and at three years after entry to treatment.1

 At baseline, the 404 opiate users recruited to the study were entering treatment for the first time, or were returning to treatment after a period of absence, at any one of 54 services nationwide. Of these, 289 individuals completed all three interviews – at baseline (2003/4), at one year (2004/5) and at three years (2006/7). These individuals (the per-protocol population) were asked the same questions at the three time points. The interview schedule examined key outcome measures, including:  
  • drug use in the 90 days preceding the interview – specifically, type, frequency, quantity and cost;
  • measures of harmful practices and consequences;
  • health status, using a self-rated physical and psychosocial health assessment;
  • social functioning, including accommodation, employment, and involvement in crime; and
  • mortality, using information obtained from the participants’ contacts and the General Mortality Register. (Six of those who entered treatment died during the three-year period.) 
The proportion of participants who reported using heroin in the 90 days preceding data collection fell from 81% at intake to 47% at one year, and was sustained at 47% at three years. The average frequency of heroin use in a 90-day period reduced from 42 out of 90 days at intake to 15 out of 90 days at one year but increased to 20 out of 90 days at three years. The average quantity of heroin consumed each day over a 90-day period decreased from 0.9 grams at intake to 0.3 grams at one year, and this lower consumption rate was sustained at three years. There was a corresponding reduction in the average amount spent on heroin on a typical day, from €75 at intake to €24 at one year; the average spend at three years was not reported.
 
There were reductions in the proportions of participants who reported use of non-prescribed methadone, cocaine powder, crack cocaine, cannabis, alcohol and non-prescribed benzodiazepines at one year compared to the baseline interview. The reduced levels were maintained between one-year and three-year follow-up for all drugs except benzodiazepines.
 
The proportion of participants who reported use of more than one drug decreased from 78% at intake to 50% one year later and to 45% three years following intake.
 
The proportion of participants who reported injecting drug use in the 90 days preceding data collection decreased from 46% at intake to 29% at one year and 27% at three years. There was a small overall decrease in the proportion reporting an overdose, from 7% at intake to 4% at one year, to 5% at three years.
 
In relation to mental health symptoms experienced in the three months prior to each interview, there was no reduction at three years in the proportion who reported symptoms of anxiety and some reduction in the proportion who reported three of five symptoms of depression.
 
The proportion of participants living in unstable accommodation decreased from 25% at intake to 21% at one year and to 18% at three years. The proportion attending training courses in the six months prior to interview increased from 15% at intake to 29% at one year and to 33% at three years. In addition, the proportion currently employed increased from 15% at intake to 20% at one year and to 31% at three years. The largest achievements between one and three years were in the areas of housing, training and employment.
 
The proportion of participants who reported involvement in acquisitive crime decreased from 31% at intake to 14% at one year and this decrease was sustained at three years. In addition, the proportion who reported selling or supplying drugs reduced from 31% at intake to 11% at one year and this decrease was sustained at three years.
 
At the time of entry to treatment, 7% of the 289 participants were not using drugs; the proportion had improved to 29% at one year and was sustained at 29% at three years.  Of those for whom treatment status at three years was reported, 201 (70%) were still in treatment, of whom 173 were in methadone treatment.
 
1. Comiskey C, Kelly P and Stapleton R (2008) ROSIE Findings 7: Summary of outcomes for the per-protocol population. Dublin: National Advisory Committee on Drugs.

 

Item Type:Article
Issue Title:Issue 28, Winter 2008
Date:2008
Page Range:pp. 11-12
Publisher:Health Research Board
Volume:Issue 28, Winter 2008
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Available)
Subjects:HJ Treatment method > Treatment outcome
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
HJ Treatment method > Drugs and alcohol disorder treatment method
B Drugs and alcohol substances > Opioids (opiates)

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