Home > Maintenance prescribing saves lives of English heroin addicts.

[Drug and Alcohol Findings] (2016) Maintenance prescribing saves lives of English heroin addicts. Drug and Alcohol Findings. Drug and Alcohol Findings Bulletin (8 November 2016) 5 p.

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URL: http://findings.org.uk/PHP/dl.php?file=Pierce_M_3....

Implication of this English study is that to save the lives of people dependent on heroin or similar drugs, they should be engaged and retained in substitute prescribing programmes like methadone maintenance until there is little risk of their relapsing after leaving. Shortly after leaving residential/inpatient settings was the highest risk period.

Key points From summary and commentary
• In England the study investigated the relationship between ‘overdose’ deaths and being in or out of different kinds of treatments for opioid dependence.
• The least risky period was while in methadone maintenance and allied treatments, the most risky, the four weeks after leaving residential/inpatient care.
• The death rate jumped after leaving residential/inpatient or maintenance treatments, but not after leaving non-residential psychological support programmes.
• Whether a patient had been recorded as having successfully completed their treatment made little difference to their risk of overdose death shortly after leaving


Item Type:Evidence resource
Publication Type:Review
Drug Type:Opioid
Intervention Type:AOD disorder drug therapy, AOD disorder treatment method, AOD disorder harm reduction, Rehabilitation/Recovery
Source:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Date:November 2016
Pages:5 p.
Publisher:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Number:8 November 2016
EndNote:View
Subjects:B Substances > Opioids (opiates) > Heroin
G Health and disease > Substance use disorder > Drug use > Drug intoxication > Poisoning (overdose)
HJ Treatment method > Substance disorder treatment method > Substance disorder drug therapy
HJ Treatment method > Substance disorder treatment method > Substance replacement method (substitution)
HJ Treatment method > Substance disorder treatment method > Substance replacement method (substitution) > Methadone maintenance
HJ Treatment method > Treatment outcome
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Substance use prevention > Substance use harm reduction
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Treatment and maintenance > Treatment factors
P Demography, epidemiology, and history > Population dynamics > Substance related mortality / death
VA Geographic area > Europe > United Kingdom > England

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