Heroin Maintenance

Heroin Assisted Treatment/Heroin Maintenance

Comparison of Client Satisfaction Between Those Treated for Opioid Dependence With Oral Methadone Versus Injectable Heroin

(Comparison of Client Satisfaction Between Those Treated for Opioid Dependence With Oral Methadone Versus Injectable Heroin) "Among long-term chronic opioid injectors participating in a randomized clinical trial prescribing injectable diacetylmorphine or hydromorphone and oral methadone, those receiving injectable medications were more satisfied with treatment. Independent of treatment group, treatment satisfaction was also an indicator of retention in treatment, as well as treatment response, including a reduction in substance use.

Safe Injection Sites and International Drug Control Treaties

(Safe Injection Sites and International Drug Control Treaties) "23. It might be claimed that this approach [drug injection rooms] is incompatible with the obligations to prevent the abuse of drugs, derived from article 38 of the 1961 Convention and article 20 of the 1971 Convention. It should not be forgotten, however, that the same provisions create an obligation to treat, rehabilitate and reintegrate drug addicts, whose implementation depends largely on the interpretation by the Parties of the terms in question.

Findings from the North American Opiate Medication Initiative

(Findings from the North American Opiate Medication Initiative) "Our study had two primary findings. First, we found that most study participants were motivated for treatment, despite not accessing it in at least the past 6 months (as per trial entry criteria). This may be the result of a lack of accessible or attractive treatment options available to them.

Effectiveness of Heroin-Assisted Treatment

(Effectiveness of Heroin-Assisted Treatment) "Heroin prescription represents a contentious approach to treatment. Many would question whether giving users the drug that they are addicted to constitutes 'treatment' in the normal sense of the word. As with any form of substitution therapy, there is also the question of whether users can be moved on from their drug use – perhaps the fact that users are being prescribed their drug of choice (rather than a frequently unpopular alternative) may mean that users will find it even more difficult to move on to abstinence.

Research Ethics

(Research Ethics) "The most widely accepted document outlining ethical standards for research at the international level is the Declaration of Helsinki [36]. There is a crucial section, paragraph 30, of the document that is pertinent to research on heroin treatment for addiction. It reads:
"'At the conclusion of the study, every patient entered into the study should be assured of access to the best proven prophylactic, diagnostic and therapeutic methods identified by the study'[37]

History of Heroin-Assisted Treatment

(History of Heroin-Assisted Treatment) "The emerging consensus is that heroin is a treatment for a limited number of illicit-drug users who do not do well with other medicines. Historically, however, heroin was the main 'drug of choice' for treatment. In the 1920s and earlier in Britain, it was the treatment or maintenance drug for compliant middle-class addicts, those who accepted the authority of the doctor to prescribe to them.

Heroin Maintenance - Research - North American Opioid Medication Initiative

18. What was NAOMI?
"NAOMI was North America’s first-ever clinical trial of prescribed heroin that took place from 2005 to 2008.
"It was led by researchers from PHC and UBC, and tested whether medically prescribed heroin (diacetylmorphine) was more effective than methadone therapy for individuals with chronic heroin addiction who were not benefiting from other conventional treatments.
"19. Who participated in the NAOMI study?
"NAOMI enrolled 251 chronic, heroin dependent participants (192 in Vancouver and 59 in Montreal)."

"24. What did NAOMI find?

Treatment Description

(Treatment Description) "Despite the availability of a wide range of treatment programs, including methadone substitution, not all drug addicts with serious health and social problems could be motivated to enter treatment. A core group remained, which was characterized by numerous social and physical deficiencies. In an attempt to reach this group, Heroin on prescription was launched in 1994 as part of a nationally-based research project.

Political Opposition to Heroin-Assisted Treatment

(Political Opposition to Heroin-Assisted Treatment) "The existing interference and non-evidence-based opposition from politicians and care providers, who refuse to acknowledge the limitations of methadone maintenance and the superiority of prescribed heroin in selected populations, is arguably unethical. Denying effective second-line therapy to those in need ultimately serves to condemn many users of illicit heroin to the all too common outcomes of untreated heroin addiction, including HIV infection or death from overdose."