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Home > Opioid addiction is like other chronic relapsing conditions

Irish Medical Times. [Irish Medical Times] Opioid addiction is like other chronic relapsing conditions. (26 Aug 2010)

External website: http://www.imt.ie/opinion/2010/08/opioid-addiction...

Dr Moosajee Bhamjee (IMT, July 9, page 11, ‘Swapping one illegal drug for another legal one’; see www.imt.ie/opinion/letters/2010/07/swapping-one-illegal-drug-for-another-legal-one.html) is grossly inaccurate in stating that “methadone was to be prescribed for only a minority (10 per cent) of heroin addicts who had failed to abstain”.

The treatment of choice for heroin addiction is opioid-agonist treatment and is supported by numerous studies stretching over 40 years. It needs to be stressed that the outcomes for detoxification from opioids are poor.

As Dr Cathal Ó Súilliobháin highlighted in his original response (IMT, June 11, ‘Resources must target proven treatments’; see www.imt.ie/opinion/letters/2010/06/resources-must-target-proven-treatments.html), there is the added risk of fatal overdose due to loss of opioid tolerance.

 

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