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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 (2015) Pharmacological interventions for drug-using offenders. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 6, . DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010862.pub2.

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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.

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