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Methadone is trialled in Afghanistan to try to counter “exponential surge” in heroin use

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d2281 (Published 07 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2281
  1. Peter Moszynski
  1. 1London

The first trial of methadone among 71 drug users in Afghanistan has increased the general and mental health of patients, reduced criminal activity, and greatly improved social integration, doctors from the medical charity Doctors of the World told an international harm reduction conference in Beirut last week.

The charity has warned that “Afghanistan is on the verge of a significant HIV/AIDS epidemic.” Three decades of armed conflict, millions of displaced, poor socioeconomic indicators, and wide availability of opium have caused a “dramatic increase” in domestic drug use.

Today, the country produces 90% of the world’s opium supply and the changing drug use pattern has seen injection of heroin …

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