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Treatment retention, drug use and social functioning outcomes in those receiving 3 months versus 1 month of supervised opioid maintenance treatment. Results from the Super C randomized controlled trial.

Holland, R., Maskrey, V., Swift, L., Notley, C., Robinson, A., Nagar, J., Gale, T. and Kouimtsidis, C. (2014),

Addiction, 109: 596–607. doi:10.1111/add.12439



Hepatitis C infection, related services, and barriers to HCV treatment among drug users in methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) clinics in Shanghai, China.

Li ZB, Zhang L, Wang J, Huang LP, Zhou ZR, Cao YN, Zhao M, Du J.

Harm Reduct J. 2017 Nov 2;14(1):71. doi: 10.1186/s12954-017-0197-3.


Evaluation of Methadone Treatment in Malaysia: Findings from the Malaysian Methadone Treatment Outcome Study (MyTOS).

Ali N, Aziz SA, Nordin S, Mi NC, Abdullah N, Paranthaman V, Mahmud M, Yee A, Danaee M.

Subst Use Misuse. 2018 Jan 28;53(2):239-248. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2017.1385630.



Psychometric properties of the medical outcomes study: social support survey among methadone maintenance patients in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: a validation study

Long Quynh Khuong, Tuong-Vi Thi Vu, Van-Anh Ngoc Huynh and Truc Thanh Thai

Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy2018, 13:8, doi.org/10.1186/s13011-018-0147-4


Prevalence and correlates of HIV infection among men who inject drugs in a remote area of Vietnam

Van T. Nghiem, Thanh C. Bui, Patrick P. Nadol, Son H. Phan, Binh T. Kieu, Ryan Kling and Theodore M. Hammett

Harm Reduction Journal2018, 15:8, doi.org/10.1186/s12954-018-0210-5


USA. California Moving Forward on Hub and Spoke, Care Teams

California has embraced the hub-and-spoke concept in implementing its State Targeted Response (STR) to the Opioid Crisis funding from the 21st Century Cures Act. The hub-and-spoke system was established in Vermont almost 10 years ago, with funding from the Affordable Care Act. The hub is an opioid treatment program (OTP) that does evaluations and assessments for all new admissions. Patients who need to stay in an OTP, stay in the hub for treatment. Those who are referred for office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) are referred to the physician offices, or spokes. (ATForum, 12.02.2018)


USA. Vermont Hub-and-Spoke Evaluation: No Opioid Overdoses, and a Sharp Drop—96%—in Opioid Use

The hubs—OTPs—treat patients who have been assessed as needing the OTP level of care. These patients are given methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone. Patients in the spokes—physicians’ offices—are given buprenorphine or naltrexone. (ATForum, 12.02.2018)


UKRAINE. Ukraine Expands Opioid Substitution Therapy to Reduce HIV

The Ukrainian government is increasing the scope of the country’s state-funded opioid substitution therapy (OST) programme – a harm reduction tool which reduces the risk of overdose and disease transmission.

Ukraine has provided free OST to around 8,000 people since the beginning of 2017, and now authorities have made the treatment accessible for even more people. As of this year, Ukraine is now fully funding OST for over 10,000 patients at 178 healthcare facilities around the country – “a 100 fold increase in the number of OST patients in Ukraine since 2005”, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). (TALKING DRUGS, UK, 06.02.2018)


UK. PHE launches opioid treatment quality improvement programme

PHE will work with drug treatment providers and service users to develop tools to improve the quality of substitution treatment. (PHE – Public Health England, 06.02.2018)


Kasachstan. Kazakhstan risks losing opioid maintenance therapy programs

The outcomes of the assessment of the opioid maintenance treatment (OMT) programs, initiated by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2017, may lead to the complete halt of these programs in the country. Multiple violations of human rights were recorded during the assessment, it was conducted in breach of international bioethical standards. Based on that, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) and Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network appealed to United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) urging the Government of Kazakhstan to provide information on their plans to increase the availability of OMT as well as ensure the respect and protection of human rights of drug-dependent individuals and people living with HIV. (IDCP, UK, 31.01.2018)


Iran. A new delivery model to increase adherence to methadone maintenance treatment.

Komasi S, Saeidi M, Sariaslani P, Soroush A.

Caspian J Intern Med. 2018 Winter;9(1):104-105. doi: 10.22088/cjim.9.1.104.


Social and structural barriers for adherence to methadone maintenance treatment among Vietnamese opioid dependence patients.

Tran BX, Nguyen LH, Tran TT, Latkin CA (2018) PLoS ONE 13(1): e0190941. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0190941


USA. Bad Weather Take Home Doses for Opioid Treatment Program Patients

We’ve had some snowy days in my area, and this means administrators at our opioid treatment program must decide if we should provide extra take home doses to patients for the days when travel will be treacherous.

Because take home doses are closely regulated at opioid treatment programs, both for methadone and buprenorphine, we must get special permission from state and federal regulatory agencies to give extra take home doses. We do this by submitting what’s called an “exception request.” This is an online form where we describe why we are requesting an extra take home, and for whom it will apply. Part of our job is assuring the authorities we won’t give extra take homes to patients who can’t manage them safely.

Ultimately, it’s up to me, the medical director, to decide the risk level of each patient. Which is more dangerous, driving on snowy roads to get to the opioid treatment program to dose, or having an extra take home bottle of medication? I need input from the staff to make the best decisions, so this can be time consuming.

Admittedly, my program failed our patients this last week. (Janaburson’s Blog, 22.01.2018)


A pilot feasibility randomised controlled trial of an adjunct brief social network intervention in opiate substitution treatment services.

Day E, Copello A, Seddon JL, Christie M, Bamber D, Powell C, Bennett C, Akhtar S, George S, Ball A, Frew E, Goranitis I, Freemantle N.

BMC Psychiatry. 2018 Jan 15;18(1):8. doi: 10.1186/s12888-018-1600-7.


USA-New York. Opioid Addiction Knows No Color, but Ist Treatment Does

On a street lined with garbage trucks, in an industrial edge of Brooklyn, dozens of people started filing into an unmarked building before the winter sun rose. Patients gather here every day to visit the Vincent Dole Clinic, where they are promised relief from their cravings and from the constant search for heroin on the streets. (NYT, 12.01.2018)


USA. Buprenorphine and Methadone Dispensing in New York City.

Tuazon E, Kunins H, Paone D.

New York City, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Epi Data Brief (96); November 2017.

Buprenorphine and methadone are opioid agonist medications that are both safe and effective in the treatment of opioid use disorders . Methadone dispensing has been available through certified New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Opioid Treatment Programs in New York City (NYC) since the late 1970s.

Buprenorphine has been approved for treatment of opioid use disorders since 2002, and is now available by prescription from physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants trained and approved to prescribe it.

In 2016, there were 69 OASAS-certified opioid treatment programs in NYC with a capacity to dispense methadone to approximately 32,000 patients with opioid use disorders.

(...) Most new patients in methadone treatment were Latino and Black or African-American (50% and 20%, respectively). One in three (27%) new patients in methadone treatment were White.


A Clinical Study of Opioid Substitution Therapy in a Tertiary Care Center of Eastern India.

Mohapatra S, Nayak MR, Dash M.

Indian J Psychol Med. 2017 Nov-Dec;39(6):756-759. doi: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_61_17.


A cross-national analysis of the association between years of implementation of opioid substitution treatments and drug-related deaths in Europe from 1995 to 2013.

Marotta PL, McCullagh CA.

Eur J Epidemiol. 2017 Dec 12. doi: 10.1007/s10654-017-0342-z.



Opiate agonist treatment to improve health of individuals with opioid use disorder in Lebanon.

Ghaddar A, Abbas Z, Haddad R.

Harm Reduct J. 2017 Dec 8;14(1):78. doi: 10.1186/s12954-017-0204-8.


Difficult-to-reach target groups in addiction aid - what efforts are already taken in Switzerland and what need for action remains?

Stefanie Knocks, Lisbon Addictions 2017, Second European Conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies, Lissabon, 24.-26.10.2017

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/system/files/attachments/7558/14H30_2_Stefanie Knocks.pptx

Kanada. B.C. pilot project to distribute clean opioids to people at high risk of overdose

Ottawa has approved a pilot project that will allow health officials in B.C. to distribute clean opioids to drug users to use as they please, marking one of the province's most radical efforts to address a fentanyl-saturated drug supply that has killed more than 1,000 people this year. (Globe and Mail, 19.12.2017)


Mortality and causes of death in an ageing Norwegian OMT cohort

Ivar Skeie, Lisbon Addictions 2017, Second European Conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies, Lissabon, 24.-26.10.2017

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/system/files/attachments/6857/12H45_00_Ivar Skeie.pptx

The impact of buprenorphine and methadone on mortality: a primary care cohort study in the United Kingdom

Matthew Hickman, Lisbon Addictions 2017, Second European Conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies, Lissabon, 24.-26.10.2017

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/system/files/attachments/6872/12H45_4_Matthew Hickman.ppt

Towards a long-term perspective: analysis of treatment participation in opioid substitution therapy in four European regions

Carlos Nordt, University of Zurich, Department for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

Centre for Addictive Disorders

German Medical Association, Berlin, Lisbon Addictions 2017, Second European Conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies, Lissabon, 24.-26.10.2017

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/system/files/attachments/7472/11H00_5_Carlos Nordt.pdf

USA. Older Adults with Opioid Use Disorders—The Forgotten Generation

They’ve been called a “growing and understudied population”—people who need treatment, yet find it hard to obtain or to pay for. So, many do without it. And, as time passes, they become increasingly vulnerable to physical and mental challenges.

Who are they? They’re older adults who have opioid use disorders (OUDs).

Recommendations from medical and government sources on what to do to help them—evidence-based guidelines, supportive policies, even general suggestions on making treatment available to this group—are sorely lacking. (atforum, USA, 13.12.2017)


Opioid Agonist Treatment Reduces Societal Costs of Crime

Patients with opioid use disorder generated crime-related costs to society at a lower rate while they were in treatment compared with after they left treatment.

Patients who initiate time-unlimited opioid-agonist therapy will generate lower average total crime-related costs over the next 6 months than patients who initiate a 21-day detoxification regimen.

Savings in crime-related costs are substantial and warrant inclusion in cost-effectiveness analyses of treatment for opioid addiction. (NIDA Notes, Eric Sarlin, M.Ed., M.A., 23.08.2017)


Russland/Ukraine. Death by disdain: the fate of drug users in Russian-occupied territories

With replacement therapy now illegal, drug users in Russian-occupied Crimea and the self-proclaimed republics of the Donbas are finding it hard to survive.

(...) Yevgeny Bryun, told oDR that “methadone therapy is just a business,” and that Russia will never have such programmes.

For addicts from Crimea and eastern Ukraine, Russian jurisdiction spelt disaster. (OdR - Open Democracy Net, 11.12.2017)


Ukraine. A Blind Spot in the Movement Against Gender-Based Violence

When Yulia, the coordinator of the women’s outreach program at a harm reduction service in Kiev, Ukraine, noticed a young client’s relationship with her partner was becoming increasingly violent, she called the local government-run women’s shelter for help. The reply was short: “Does she use drugs or alcohol? Yes? Then we cannot take her.”

The shelter eventually agreed to admit the woman on the condition that she enroll in a methadone program and stop using illegal drugs. But Yulia remains worried: “Even if he lets her, enrolling into drug treatment will take weeks, while I need to get her into safety tonight. And I cannot call the police: instead of protection, she will get arrested because she is a drug user.”

Yulia’s client is not alone. According to the World Health Organization, one in three women will experience violence in her life, most commonly at the hand of an intimate partner. But for women who use drugs, this number is closer to 76 percent, like in Indonesia, or 80 percent, like in Kyrgyzstan—where half of the women surveyed also named the police among their abusers. (OSF, 08.12.2017)


A systematic review of health economic models of opioid agonist therapies in maintenance treatment of non-prescription opioid dependence.

Chetty M, Kenworthy JJ, Langham S, Walker A, Dunlop WC.

Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2017 Feb 24;12(1):6. doi: 10.1186/s13722-017-0071-3. Review.