This Week In The Bmj

Supervised heroin prescription helps addicts

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 07 August 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:0-a

Supervised prescribing of a combination of methadone plus heroin is feasible, safe, and effective. Methadone maintenance is an effective intervention for heroin addicts, but not all addicts benefit from this treatment. Van den Brink and colleagues (310) conducted two randomised controlled trials among 549 treatment resistant heroin addicts to compare the effectiveness of methadone plus heroin with methadone alone. Psychosocial treatment was also offered in both trials. Compared with participants allocated to treatment with methadone alone, those who received methadone plus heroin hadbetter physical health, mental status, and social functioning, including substantial reductions in criminal behaviour.



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