Methadone and 12-step

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This blog is a re-run but I’ve published it again because of recent comments it has attracted (at end of blog) Methadone and 12-step Given the dearth of research on NA populations this study from Bill White and colleagues is welcome. Knowing what we do already from the research on mutual aid groups, the researchers made the […]

Suboxone or Methadone – what do service users want?

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NHS North Lanarkshire asked 90 of their patients to give their viewpoints on what they thought of Suboxone vs. methadone for opioid replacement therapy (ORT). They found that ‘in comparison to methadone, patients receiving buprenorphine–naloxone were highly positive about their treatment experiences and its advantages over methadone, including the “clear-headed response”, improved well-being and concentration, possibility of […]

Drug deaths – what’s changing?

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One thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven people died from drug-related causes in England and Wales last year. That’s a 21% jump with a significant rise in deaths related to heroin and morphine. The data for Scotland, released last month, showed a 9% drop compared to 2012, though this was still the fifth highest on record. What’s […]

Recovery too hard? Methadone for life!

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Berlin, like many big cities, has a heroin problem. People presenting for help are being prescribed opioid replacement therapy (ORT) in greater numbers. That’s a good thing isn’t it? Well it depends on what you think is the end goal of treatment. At the start of this interesting recent German paper  “Why do patients stay in […]

Methadone’s bad press

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There’s something odd about methadone. Well, maybe not so much about methadone, but about the way it’s seen. It gets bad press. Think back to lurid headlines in the Scottish tabloids a couple of years ago – the ones partially responsible for the Chief Medical Officer’s Expert Review on ORT. This is a paradox, for […]

Methadone and the Hall of Mirrors

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The International Journal of Drug Policy takes an editorial wander through the ‘hall of mirrors’ that is opioid replacement therapy pointing out that, depending on viewpoint, ORT can be seen as “a medical treatment; a method of harm reduction; an overdose prevention tactic; a crime reduction strategy; a public health measure; a social welfare intervention; an administrative […]

Methadone and 12-step

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Given the dearth of research on NA populations this study from Bill White and colleagues is welcome. Knowing what we do already from the research on mutual aid groups, the researchers made the reasonable assumption that clients on ORT attending 12-step mutual aid were likely to achieve to higher levels of abstinence (no illicit drugs or alcohol) […]

Can recovering drug addicts drink safely?

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In Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous meetings up and down the country tonight, members will read out literature warning those attending that drinking alcohol is a risk to their recoveries. This is not based on scientific study, but on the experience across decades of those following the 12-step programme. When considered in the light of […]

Drug treatment is not delivering on recovery

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This hot-off-the-press paper starts with a financial bent. The costs to the UK taxpayer of illicit drug use are £15.4 billion ($26.1 billion) annually, most of it from crime. Quite a bill. How ought we reduce this? Medication assisted treatment (MAT) say Dale-Perera and colleagues, because strategies associated with rapid abstinence are associated with poor […]