Promoting abstinence for drug users

Maintenance treatment is not rocket science

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2773 (Published 3 May 2013)
Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2773

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  1. Andrew Byrne, addiction physician1
  1. 1Private Practice, Redfern, NSW 2016, Australia
  1. ajbyrne{at}ozemail.com.au

Luty is unduly pessimistic about long term abstinence after opioid maintenance treatment.1 About 4% of addicted people become abstinent each year, regardless of treatment.2 By 10 years, over a third are abstinent. The remainder are mostly on maintenance treatment, a small, efficient part of any health system, which often needs little more than an …

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