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Heroin-assisted treatment as a response to the public health problem of opiate dependence


Fischer, B; Rehm, Jürgen; Kirst, M; Casas, M; Hall, W; Krausz, M; Metrebian, N; Reggers, J; Uchtenhagen, Ambros; van den Brink, W; van Ree, J (2002). Heroin-assisted treatment as a response to the public health problem of opiate dependence. European Journal of Public Health, 12(3):228-234.

Abstract

Injection drug use (involving the injection of illicit opiates) poses serious public health problems in many countries. Research has indicated that injection drug users are at higher risk for morbidity in the form of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C, and drug‐related mortality, as well as increased criminal activity. Methadone maintenance treatment is the most prominent form of pharmacotherapy treatment for illicit opiate dependence in several countries, and its application varies internationally with respect to treatment regulations and delivery modes. In order to effectively treat those patients who have previously been resistant to methadone maintenance treatment, several countries have been studying and/or considering heroin‐assisted treatment as a complementary form of opiate pharmacotherapy treatment. This paper provides an overview of the prevalence of injection drug use and the opiate dependence problem internationally, the current opiate dependence treatment landscape in several countries, and the status of ongoing or planned heroin‐assisted treatment trials in Australia, Canada and certain European countries.

Injection drug use (involving the injection of illicit opiates) poses serious public health problems in many countries. Research has indicated that injection drug users are at higher risk for morbidity in the form of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C, and drug‐related mortality, as well as increased criminal activity. Methadone maintenance treatment is the most prominent form of pharmacotherapy treatment for illicit opiate dependence in several countries, and its application varies internationally with respect to treatment regulations and delivery modes. In order to effectively treat those patients who have previously been resistant to methadone maintenance treatment, several countries have been studying and/or considering heroin‐assisted treatment as a complementary form of opiate pharmacotherapy treatment. This paper provides an overview of the prevalence of injection drug use and the opiate dependence problem internationally, the current opiate dependence treatment landscape in several countries, and the status of ongoing or planned heroin‐assisted treatment trials in Australia, Canada and certain European countries.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Public Health;health;heroin;opiate;treatment
Language:English
Date:2002
Deposited On:14 May 2014 07:06
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:47
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1101-1262
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/12.3.228
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-94653

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