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Irland. Twenty years of the Methadone Treatment Protocol

In recognition of the 20-year anniversary of the Methadone Treatment Protocol in 2018, the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) has brought together a series of reflections of their Substance Misuse Programme.1 This comprises articles and extracts from Forum, the journal of ICGP, summaries of ICGP publications, pictures, and personal reflections from doctors and patients. (drugnet Ireland, The newsletter of Ireland’s focal point to the EMCDDA, Issue 68, Winter 2019)


USA. Medications to Treat Opioid Addiction Are Effective and Save Lives, But Barriers Prevent Broad Access and Use, Says New Report

WASHINGTON – Although three U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medications to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) are safe and effective, most people who could benefit from these treatments do not receive them, and access is inequitable, especially among certain subpopulations, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Save Lives says that withholding or failing to have available these medications for the treatment of OUD in any care or criminal justice setting is denying appropriate medical treatment. (The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, USA, 20.03.2019)


Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Save Lives

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2019. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi.org/10.17226/25310.


Schottland. Frontline GP insists methadone is still best way to tackle drugs crisis

'Deep End' Edinburgh GP Carey Lunan says methadone has kept many people from heroin overdoses and allowed them to live a better life, even if the numbers who get off it remain low. (Daily Record, UK, 18.03.2019)


Management of opioid use disorder in the USA: present status and future directions

Blanco, Carlos et al.

The Lancet , Volume 0 , Issue 0 , Published:March 13, 2019, doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)33078-2



App: Buprenorphine Home Induction

This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.


USA. Yale experts develop new free app to tackle opioid addiction

As the opioid overdose epidemic continues to take its toll, causing 47,600 deaths in 2017, researchers continue to seek innovative solutions to the crisis. At Yale, a team of medical experts and students have come up with a tool that could help individual opioid users with one of the most important strategies to fight addiction: medication treatment. (Yale News, USA, 06.03.2019)


Computerized Clinical Decision Support System for Emergency Department-Initiated Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder: User-Centered Design.

Ray JM, Ahmed OM, Solad Y, Maleska M, Martel S, Jeffery MM, Platts-Mills TF, Hess EP, D'Onofrio G, Melnick ER.

JMIR Hum Factors. 2019 Feb 27;6(1):e13121. doi: 10.2196/13121.


Community Forums to Address the Opioid Crisis: An Effective Grassroots Approach to Rural Community Engagement.

Palombi L, Olivarez M, Bennett L, Hawthorne AN.

Subst Abuse. 2019 Feb 17;13:1178221819827595. doi: 10.1177/1178221819827595. 


Comparing Canadian and United States opioid agonist therapy policies.

Priest KC, Gorfinkel L, Klimas J, Jones AA, Fairbairn N, McCarty D.

Int J Drug Policy. 2019 Feb 11. pii: S0955-3959(19)30028-3. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.01.020.



Drug treatment systems in the Western Balkans: outcomes of a joint EMCDDA-UNODC survey of drug treatment facilities


This report presents a summary of the key findings from drug treatment facility surveys carried out in 2017 in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and the territory of Kosovo. The results provide insight into the characteristics and capacity of the treatment systems, as well as the availability and provision of treatment interventions. The report also considers the implications for practice and policy. (EMCDDA,UNODC,Lissabon,Februar 2019 )


USA. Many Rural Americans Have No Access to Buprenorphine

Nearly a third of rural Americans live in a county without access to buprenorphine—the gold standard for treating opioid use disorder, according to a new Pew fact sheet. (Filter, USA, 11.02.2019)


USA. Opioid Use Disorder: Challenges and Opportunities in Rural Communities 

Thoughtful strategies can improve access to high-quality care. (Pew Trusts, USA, 07.02.2019)


Kanada. Heroin Compassion Clubs

A cooperative model to reduce opioid overdose deaths & disrupt organized crime’s role in fentanyl, money laundering & housing unaffordability

BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU), Kanada, 2019


Kanada. First in Canada pilot project at St. Paul’s Hospital ED to provide take-away treatment to opioid overdose patients

A leading-edge pilot project in the St. Paul’s Hospital Emergency Department (ED), in collaboration with the VCH Regional Addiction Program, will provide opioid overdose patients with take-away doses of treatment upon discharge. (BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU), Kanada, 06.02.2019)


USA. Trouble Ahead: Shifts in Funding Limit Access to Methadone, Threaten Treatment Expansion

With opioid overdoses now killing more people than traffic accidents or HIV infection—more than 45,000 lives were lost to overdoses in 2017—you’d think that most people with opioid use disorder (OUD) could easily access treatment. But that’s not the case. Only a minority receive any substance use treatment, such as counseling or inpatient treatment; even fewer receive medication treatment (MT). (ATForum, USA, 21.02.2019)


Initiation and engagement as mechanisms for change caused by collaborative care in opioid and alcohol use disorders.

Setodji CM, Watkins KE, Hunter SB, McCullough C, Stein BD, Osilla KC, Ober AJ.

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 Nov 1;192:67-73. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.07.027.


USA. How Cities Are Expanding Opioid Use Disorder Treatment - Local providers and public officials focus on evidence-based care

On January 25, The Pew Charitable Trusts convened public health officials from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and New York as well as providers from three Philadelphia care settings to share their insights and experiences related to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder. (The Pew Charitable Trusts, USA, 06.02.2019)


Drug addicts 'will be pushed back onto streets' as prescriptions scrapped in Plymouth

A pharmacist has warned that if the prescriptions stop, many may go back to using street drugs. (Plymouth Live, UK, 15.02.2019)



Sociodemographic characteristics of patients with children in a methadone maintenance program: a cross-sectional study

Candice Luo, Nitika Sanger, Laura Zielinski, Meha Bhatt, Hamnah Shahid, Ieta Shams, Natalia Mouravska, Sabrina Luetam, Jackie Hudson, Lehana Thabane and Zainab Samaan

Harm Reduction Journal 2019, 16:13, doi.org/10.1186/s12954-019-0283-9


Schweiz. RauschakzeptierendeSubstitution in der Schweiz – auch in Deutschland möglich?

Der JES-Bundesverband freut sich sehr, dass Marc Vogelund Hannes Strassereinen Beitrag über innovative Entwicklungen der Substitutionsbehandlung in der Schweiz für diese Ausgabe des DROGENKURIERverfasst haben. Die Schweiz war bei vielen Entwicklungen stets Wegbereiter und auch Vorbild für spätere Entwicklungen in Deutschland. Als wir erstmals von den in der Schweiz beschrittenen neuen Wegen der Behandlung der Opiatabhängigkeit hörten, entstand sofort die Frage „Wäre eine rauschakzeptierende Substitution auch in Deutschland möglich?“ (Drogenkurier, Herausgeber: JES-Bundesverband, Ausgabe 116, Seiten 18-19, Dezember 2018)


Measurement-based care using DSM-5 for opioid use disorder: can we make opioid medication treatment more effective?.

Marsden, J., Tai, B., Ali, R., Hu, L., Rush, A. J., and Volkow, N. (2019) 

Addiction, doi.org/10.1111/add.14546.


Patient and provider perspectives on implementation barriers and facilitators of an integrated opioid treatment and HIV care intervention.

Cooke A, Saleem H, Hassan S, Mushi D, Mbwambo J, Lambdin B.

Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2019 Jan 28;14(1):3. doi: 10.1186/s13722-019-0133-9.


Performance indicator as the main and the only goal: a “dark side” of the intervention aims to accelerate HIV treatment entry among people who inject drugs in Kyiv, Ukraine

Alexandra Dmitrieva, Vladimir Stepanov, Ievgeniia-Galyna Lukash and Anna Martynyuk

Harm Reduction Journal2019, 16:8, doi.org/10.1186/s12954-019-0279-5


Effect of Integrating Substance Use Disorder Treatment into Primary Care on Inpatient and Emergency Department Utilization.

Wakeman SE, Rigotti NA, Chang Y, Herman GE, Erwin A, Regan S, Metlay JP.

J Gen Intern Med. 2019 Jan 10. doi: 10.1007/s11606-018-4807-x.



Development of a Cascade of Care for responding to the opioid epidemic.

Williams AR, Nunes EV, Bisaga A, Levin FR, Olfson M.

Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2019 Jan 24:1-10. doi: 10.1080/00952990.2018.1546862. 


Epidemiology of dependence on illicit substances, with a special focus on opioid dependence, in the State of Punjab, India: Results from two different yet complementary survey methods.

Avasthi A, Basu D, Subodh BN, Gupta PK, Goyal BL, Sidhu BS, Gargi PD, Sharma A, Ghosh A.

Asian J Psychiatr. 2018 Dec 21;39:70-79. doi: 10.1016/j.ajp.2018.12.008. 


Associations between implementation of Project Lazarus and opioid analgesic dispensing and buprenorphine utilization in North Carolina, 2009-2014.

Alexandridis AA, Dasgupta N, McCort AD, Ringwalt CL, Rosamond WD, Chelminski PR, Marshall SW.

Inj Epidemiol. 2019 Jan 21;6(1):2. doi: 10.1186/s40621-018-0179-2.


Associated Factors of Maintenance in Patients under Treatment with Methadone: A Comprehensive Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Farmani F, Farhadi H, Mohammadi Y.

Addict Health. 2018 Jan;10(1):41-51. doi: 10.22122/ahj.v10i1.488. Review.


Webinar: USA. Improving Clinical Quality in Methadone Treatment: Results of a 2-Year Pilot (on demand)


There are more methadone programs in the U.S. today than there were five years ago. In fact, the methadone treatment industry grew more in the past four years than it has in the past two decades. That’s important in an opioid epidemic.

But IRETA has been working on another important aspect of methadone services: quality. In this webinar, we’ll describe our two-year clinical quality improvement project with a western Pennsylvania methadone program, which finished in October 2018. We’ll discuss lessons learned, client satisfaction, and ways to implement these ideas in your area. (IRETA - Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions, USA, 24.01.2019)