Undertreated Chronic Pain and Development of Substance Dependence

(Undertreated Chronic Pain and Development of Substance Dependence) "In our study, there was greater evidence for an association between substance use and chronic pain among inpatients than among MMTP [Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program] patients. Among inpatients, there were significant bivariate relationships between chronic pain and pain as a reason for first using drugs, multiple drug use, and drug craving. In the multivariate analysis, only drug craving remained significantly associated with chronic pain.

Heroin-Assisted Treatment vs Methadone Maintenance

(Heroin-Assisted Treatment vs Methadone Maintenance) "To conclude, it must be stated that heroin treatment involves a somewhat higher safety risk than methadone treatment. This is mainly due to the intravenous form of application. The rather frequently occurring respiratory depressions and cerebral convulsions are not unexpected and can easily be clinically controlled. Overall, the mortality rate was low during the first study phase, and no death occurred with a causal relationship with the study medication. Compared to much higher health risks related to the i.v.

Heroin Assisted Treatment vs Methadone Maintenance

(Heroin Assisted Treatment vs Methadone Maintenance) "The German model project for heroin-assisted treatment of opioid dependent patients is so far the largest randomised control group study that investigated the effects of heroin treatment. This fact alone lends particular importance to the results in the (meanwhile worldwide) discussion of effects and benefits of heroin treatment. For the group of so-called most severely dependent patients, heroin treatment proves to be superior to the goals of methadone maintenance based on pharmacological maintenance treatment.

Decline in Incidence of Heroin Use

(Decline in Incidence of Heroin Use) "The incidence of regular heroin use in the canton of Zurich started with about 80 new users in 1975, increased to 850 in 1990, and declined to 150 in 2002, and was thus reduced by 82%. Incidence peaked in 1990 at a similar high level to that ever reported in New South Wales, Australia, or in Italy. But only in Zurich has a decline by a factor of four in the number of new users of heroin been observed within a decade.

Long-Term Health Risks of Heroin Use

(Long-Term Health Risks of Heroin Use) "Unlike alcohol or tobacco, heroin causes no ongoing toxicity to the tissues or organs of the body. Apart from causing some constipation, it appears to have no side effects in most who take it. When administered safely, its use may be consistent with a long and productive life. The principal harm comes from the risk of overdose, problems with injecting, drug impurities and adverse legal or financial consequences."

Prescription Injectable Opiates

(Prescription Injectable Opiates) "Prescribing injectable opiates is one of many options in a range of treatments for opiate-dependent drug users. In showing that it attracts and retains long term resistant opiate-dependent drug users in treatment and that it is associated with significant and sustained reductions in drug use and improvements in health and social status, our findings endorse the view that it is a feasible option."

Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

(Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome) "The withdrawal syndrome usually includes symptoms and signs of CNS hyperactivity. Onset and duration of the syndrome depend on the specific drug and its half-life. Symptoms may appear as early as 4 h after the last dose of heroin, peak within 48 to 72 h, and subside after about a week. Anxiety and a craving for the drug are followed by increased resting respiratory rate (> 16 breaths/min), usually with diaphoresis, yawning, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, mydriasis, and stomach cramps.