Skip Page Header

Home > Pharmacological interventions for drug-using offenders.

Perry, Amanda E and Neilson, Matthew and Martyn-St James, Marrissa and Glanville, Julie M and Woodhouse, Rebecca and Godfrey, Christine and Hewitt, Catherine [The Cochrane Library] . (2015) Pharmacological interventions for drug-using offenders. London: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 6 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010862.pub2



Drug-using offenders by their nature represent a socially excluded group in which drug use is more prevalent than in the rest of the population. Pharmacological interventions play an important role in the rehabilitation of drug-using offenders. For this reason, it is important to investigate what we know works when pharmacological interventions are provided for offenders.


Author’s conclusions

When compared to non-pharmacological treatment, agonist treatments did not seem effective in reducing drug use or criminal activity. Antagonist treatments were not effective in reducing drug use but significantly reduced criminal activity. When comparing the drugs to one another we found no significant differences between the drug comparisons (methadone versus buprenorphine, diamorphine and naltrexone) on any of the outcome measures. Caution should be taken when interpreting these findings, as the conclusions are based on a small number of trials, and generalisation of these study findings should be limited mainly to male adult offenders. Additionally, many studies were rated at high risk of bias.

Item Type
Evidence resource
Publication Type
Drug Type
Alcohol or other drugs in general, Opioid
Intervention Type
AOD disorder drug therapy, AOD disorder treatment method
June 2015
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Place of Publication

Repository Staff Only: item control page