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UK. London’s first dedicated detox unit for homeless people set to open 

Service, led by PHE London, was set up in partnership with the Greater London Authority, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, borough councils and the City of London Corporation. (Public Health England, UK, 09.06.2021)


State of the art treatment options for Pakistan's opioid, alcohol and methamphetamine crisis. 

Islam M. 

J Pak Med Assoc. 2020 Jun;70(6):1063-1068. doi: 10.5455/JPMA.29284. PMID: 32810107.


Mobile methadone medication units: A brief history, scoping review and research opportunity. 

Chan B, Hoffman KA, Bougatsos C, Grusing S, Chou R, McCarty D. 

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2021 May 16;129:108483. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2021.108483. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34080541.



Prospective Study on Factors Associated with Referral of Patients with Opioid Maintenance Therapy from Specialized Addictive Disorders Centers to Primary Care. 

Guillou-Landreat M, Levassor P, Guerlais M, Sebille V, Victorri-Vigneau C. 

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 May 27;18(11):5749. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18115749. PMID: 34071908.


USA. Respectful and Equitable Access to Comprehensive Healthcare (REACH) Program

The Respectful and Equitable Access to Comprehensive Healthcare (REACH) Program provides a patient-centered, harm reduction approach to primary care for persons who use alcohol and other drugs, and for individuals living with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. (Mount Sinai Hospitals, NY/USA, 2021)


USA. Stanford Team Reveals Cost-Effective and Life-Saving Treatment for Nation's Opioid Disorder Epidemic

A Stanford team of decision scientists with colleagues at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System developed a mathematical model to assess the cost-effectiveness of various interventions to treat opioid use disorder. They looked at the cost-effectiveness from two perspectives: the health-care sector and the criminal justice system. (Stanford Health Policy, USA, 31.03.2021)


"People Don't Just Start Shooting Heroin on Their 18th Birthday": A Qualitative Study of Community Stakeholders' Perspectives on Adolescent Opioid Use and Opportunities for Intervention in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Linton SL, Winiker A, Tormohlen KN, Schneider KE, McLain G, Sherman SG, Johnson RM. 

Prev Sci. 2021 Apr 7:1–12. doi: 10.1007/s11121-021-01226-7. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33826057; PMCID: PMC8024438.


A qualitative examination of the current management of opioid use disorder and barriers to prescribing buprenorphine in a Canadian emergency department. 

Wiercigroch D, Hoyeck P, Sheikh H, Hulme J. 

BMC Emerg Med. 2021 Apr 15;21(1):48. doi: 10.1186/s12873-021-00443-1. PMID: 33858328; PMCID: PMC8051038.


Feasibility and outcomes from an integrated bridge treatment program for opioid use disorder. 

Langabeer JR, Champagne-Langabeer T, Yatsco AJ, O'Neal MM, Cardenas-Turanzas M, Prater S, Luber S, Stotts A, Fadial T, Khraish G, Wang H, Bobrow BJ, Chambers KA. 

J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open. 2021 Mar 31;2(2):e12417. doi: 10.1002/emp2.12417. PMID: 33817692; PMCID: PMC8011614.


Practice Predictors of Buprenorphine Prescribing by Family Physicians. 

Peterson LE, Morgan ZJ, Borders TF. 

J Am Board Fam Med. 2020 Jan-Feb;33(1):118-123. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2020.01.190235. PMID: 31907252.


A person’s characteristics, their treatment, and the prescriber all influence retention for opioid agonist treatment (OAT)

A new report from researchers at The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), UNSW Sydney, has found that a person’s characteristics, their treatment, and the prescriber all have significant influence on retention rates for opioid agonist treatment (OAT). (NDARC – National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre / UNSW – University of New South Wales, Australien, 13.05.2021)


USA. The Methadone Manifesto: A Powerful Blow Against the Clinic System

The Methadone Manifesto is a brilliant, badass, long-overdue gut punch to the antiquated US methadone clinic system. Written by members of the Urban Survivors Union’s methadone advocacy and reform team, composed of current and former methadone patients and allies, it centers the voices of methadone users. For anyone unfamiliar with what happens inside clinics, this document will be eye-opening and enraging. (Filter, USA, 12.05.2021)


USA. The Methadone Manifesto

Call to Action

While methadone is the most effective treatment legally available for those diagnosed with opioid use disorder (OUD) it is the most stigmatized and the most heavily regulated. Methadone significantly reduces the risk of overdose, HIV and HCV infection, and is the only safe supply available to people who use drugs (PWUD) in the United States. Over 1.6 million people meet the criteria for OUD in the U.S. and less than a quarter receive methadone treatment. Even during an adulterant and overdose crisis combined with a COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to experience barriers which keep PWUD from accessing treatment. We are traumatized as we try and access treatment because many people believe we are simply substituting one drug for another. This results in shame and stigma in practices and in the recovery community. We are watching our loved ones die and our community decimated. Our trauma demands this collaborative living document detail the culture of cruelty that continues to shame, stigmatize, and kill. (USU – Urban Survivors Union, April 2021)


Opioid Treatment Deserts: Concept development and application in a US Midwestern urban county. 

Hyder A, Lee J, Dundon A, Southerland LT, All D, Hammond G, et al. (2021) 

PLoS ONE 16(5): e0250324. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0250324


Australien. ‘Game changer’ treatment cuts heroin use

An opioid treatment being introduced around Australia has been dubbed a game changer after dozens of users at Melbourne’s safe injecting room stopped taking heroin.

The Richmond site was among the first in Australia to provide depot buprenorphine, a slow-release injection given weekly or monthly, outside clinical trials after it was approved for use in September 2019. (Sydney Morning Herald, Australien, 10.05.2021)


Using Patient Voice to Personalize the Opioid Epidemic: An Evaluation of 2 Educational Interventions. 

Schlaudecker J, Zamudio O, Goodnow K, Pallerla H, Regan S. 

J Patient Exp. 2020 Dec;7(6):964-968. doi: 10.1177/2374373520948401. Epub 2020 Aug 13. PMID: 33457529; PMCID: PMC7786768.


Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) Improve Short-term Residential OUD Treatment Completion and Retention

Little is known about the impact of medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) on residential OUD treatment outcomes. Researchers extracted data from a US national dataset of admissions and discharges from publicly funded substance use disorder treatment facilities. Data from adults admitted to either a short-term (ST; <30 days) or long-term (LT; >30 days) OUD residential treatment center between 2015 and 2017 were assessed to determine the effects of MOUD on the probability of treatment completion and retention (defined as a stay >10 days or >90 days for ST and LT treatment, respectively). Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Health: Current Evidence, USA, März-April 2021)


USA. The Number Needed to Prescribe — What Would It Take to Expand Access to Buprenorphine?

Policies have been proposed to remove obstacles to prescribing buprenorphine to people with opioid use disorder. But a larger barrier to treatment expansion is cultural: physicians and institutions fail to treat substance use disorders as the chronic diseases they are.

Elisabeth Poorman, M.D., M.P.H.

NEJM, May 8, 2021, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp2101298


Iran. ‘Beating Drug Addiction in Tehran: A Women’s Clinic’

A new book ‘Beating Drug Addiction in Tehran: A Women’s Clinic’ which explores the first women-only methadone clinic in Tehran, was launched on Sunday, 11 April 2021.

Written by Dr Kate Dolan, Adjunct Professor at The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), UNSW Sydney, the book reveals the hidden lives of four women who were treated at the clinic.

“This book details the incredible stories of these women and how they became drug users, the struggles they faced, and how they benefited from being in treatment,” said Dr Dolan.

Iran has the highest rate of opium use in the world and with alcohol banned many Iranians turn to opium.

“Iran implemented harm reduction measures early in the HIV epidemic like methadone clinics, however most clinics were overrun by men who use drugs,” said Dr Dolan.

“Women who used drugs were reluctant to seek help, so a women-only clinic was needed to attract women into treatment.”

Dr Dolan established the first methadone clinic for female drug users in Iran and was granted access to areas and people not normally afforded to outsiders. (UNSW MEDICINE - National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Australien, April 2021)


Pathways to 'recovery' and social reintegration: The experiences of long-term clients of methadone maintenance treatment in an Irish drug treatment setting. 

Mayock P, Butler S. 

Int J Drug Policy. 2021 Apr;90:103092. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.103092. Epub 2021 Jan 8. PMID: 33429162.



Evaluation of functional status among patients undergoing maintenance treatments for opioid use disorders. 

Ruíz Ruíz, J.J., Martinez Delgado, J.M., García-Marchena, N. et al. 

Harm Reduct J 18, 41 (2021). doi.org/10.1186/s12954-021-00488-2



Liquid Handcuffs: A Documentary to Free Methadone is now available to stream and to purchase. How great is that! It is streaming online at Vimeo where you can rent or buy it via a link on our website. We appreciate everyone who pushed us to get this done! And we still love in-person screenings–masks on and six feet apart–so invite us to one in your city.    

Fact: We made Liquid Handcuffs to document how oppressive methadone clinics are - most people don’t know this. Methadone is a tool of harm reduction, but the system that controls it is a system of harm production. That has to change.   

If COVID-19 taught us anything, it’s that rapid change is possible. It took a pandemic for the DEA and SAMSHA to loosen restrictions on take-home doses. No one wants to go back to “normal.” Use our documentary to resist going back to “normal” and to advocate for the rights of people who take methadone. (liquidhandcuffsdoc.com, USA, 12.04.2021)


Opioid Use Disorder: Treatments and Barriers. 

Patel K, Bunachita S, Agarwal AA, Lyon A, Patel UK. 

Cureus. 2021 Feb 6;13(2):e13173. doi: 10.7759/cureus.13173. PMID: 33717718; PMCID: PMC7938868.


Frequency of health-care utilization by adults who use illicit drugs: a systematic review and meta-analysis. 

Lewer D, Freer J, King E, Larney S, Degenhardt L, Tweed EJ, Hope VD, Harris M, Millar T, Hayward A, Ciccarone D, Morley KI. 

Addiction. 2020 Jun;115(6):1011-1023. doi: 10.1111/add.14892. Epub 2020 Feb 10. PMID: 31705770; PMCID: PMC7210080.


Findings from the recovery initiation and management after overdose (RIMO) pilot study experiment. 

Scott CK, Dennis ML, Grella CE, Nicholson L, Sumpter J, Kurz R, Funk R. 

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2020 Jan;108:65-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2019.08.004. Epub 2019 Aug 7. PMID: 31493942; PMCID: PMC6893133.


Palliative care for people with substance use disorder and multiple problems: a qualitative study on experiences of patients and proxies. 

Ebenau A, Dijkstra B, Ter Huurne C, Hasselaar J, Vissers K, Groot M. 

BMC Palliat Care. 2019 Jul 12;18(1):56. doi: 10.1186/s12904-019-0443-4. PMID: 31299956; PMCID: PMC6626397.


Considering the harms of our habits: The reflexive urine drug screen in opioid use disorder treatment

Khatri, Utsha G. et al.

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Volume 123, 108258 



USA. Illinois Methadone Patients Could Be First to Have Privacy Rolled Back After SAMHSA Rule-Change

An Illinois Senator appears to be the first state lawmaker to push for a bill that would make a controversial federal rollback of opioid use disorder patients’ privacy rights mandatory at the state level. (Filter, USA, 29.03.2021)


USA. Progress of Four Programs from the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. 

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2021. Washington,DC: The National Academies Press. doi.org/10.17226/26060.


Caring for people who inject drugs when they are admitted to hospital

Thomas D. Brothers, John Fraser, Duncan Webster

CMAJ Mar 2021, 193 (12) E423-E424; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.202124