Archive for 19/03/2010

people with addiction see a
primary care or urgent care
physician every 6 months, and many
others are regularly seen by other medical

These physicians are
therefore in a prime position to help patients
who may have drug abuse problems
by recognizing and diagnosing the
addiction, helping to direct patients to
a program that can meet their treatment
needs, and helping to monitor
progress after specialty treatment and
during recovery.3-6

Many physicians,
however, find the domain of drug abuse
particularly daunting and often avoid
the issue with their patients. This is understandable
given the relatively short
shrift drug abuse is given in formal
medical education. There is a widespread
misperception that drug abuse
treatment is not effective, which may
account for the reluctance of physicians
to even broach the subject of drug
abuse or treatment with their patients.
On the other hand, over the past 15
to 20 years, advances in science have
revolutionized our fundamental understanding
of the nature of drug abuse
and addiction and what to do about it.
In addition, there are now extensive
data showing that addiction is eminently
treatable if the treatment is welldelivered
and tailored to the needs of
the particular patient.

There is an array
of both behavioral and pharmacological
treatments that can effectively
reduce drug use, help manage drug
cravings and prevent relapses, and restore
people to productive functioning
in society.7-9
Of course, not all drug abuse treatments
are equally effective, and there
is no single treatment appropriate for
all patients. Fortunately, recent scientific
advances have provided insights
both into the nature of drug abuse and
addiction and into the principles that
characterize the most effective treatment
approaches and programs.10 These
treatment principles should make the
primary care or nonaddiction specialty
care physician’s tasks of screening
and referral much easier.

Read more: 20.03.10

Context Substance use disorders among physicians are important and persistent
problems. Considerable debate exists over whether use of major opioids, especially
among anesthesiologists, is associated with a higher relapse rate compared with alcohol
and nonopioids. Moreover, the risk factors for relapse with current treatment and
monitoring strategies are unknown.
Objective To test the hypothesis that chemically dependent health care professionals
using a major opioid (eg, fentanyl, sufentanil, morphine, meperidine) as drug of
choice are at higher risk of relapse.
Design, Setting, and Participants Retrospective cohort study of 292 health care
professionals enrolled in the Washington Physicians Health Program, an independent
posttreatment monitoring program, followed up between January 1, 1991, and December
31, 2001.
Main Outcome Measure Factors associated with relapse, defined as the
resumption of substance use after initial diagnosis and completion of primary treatment
for chemical dependency.
Results Twenty-five percent (74 of 292 individuals) had at least 1 relapse. A family
history of a substance use disorder increased the risk of relapse (hazard ratio
[HR], 2.29; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.44-3.64). The use of a major opioid
increased the risk of relapse significantly in the presence of a coexisting psychiatric
disorder (HR, 5.79; 95% CI, 2.89-11.42) but not in the absence of a coexisting
psychiatric disorder (HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.33-2.17). The presence of all 3 factors—
major opioid use, dual diagnosis, and family history—markedly increased the risk of
relapse (HR, 13.25; 95% CI, 5.22-33.59). The risk of subsequent relapses increased
after the first relapse (HR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.13-2.53).
Conclusions The risk of relapse with substance use was increased in health care
professionals who used a major opioid or had a coexisting psychiatric illness or a family
history of a substance use disorder. The presence of more than 1 of these risk factors
and previous relapse further increased the likelihood of relapse. These observations
should be considered in monitoring the recovery of health care professionals.
JAMA. 2005;293:1453-1460

Read more: 1453 rueckfall beim aerzlichen personal

Studies in Europe have suggested that injectable diacetylmorphine, the active ingredient
in heroin, can be an effective adjunctive treatment for chronic, relapsing opioid
In an open-label, phase 3, randomized, controlled trial in Canada, we compared
injectable diacetylmorphine with oral methadone maintenance therapy in patients
with opioid dependence that was refractory to treatment. Long-term users of injectable
heroin who had not benefited from at least two previous attempts at treatment
for addiction (including at least one methadone treatment) were randomly assigned
to receive methadone (111 patients) or diacetylmorphine (115 patients). The primary
outcomes, assessed at 12 months, were retention in addiction treatment or drugfree
status and a reduction in illicit-drug use or other illegal activity according to
the European Addiction Severity Index.

Read more: heroin_vs_methadone_2009

Background: The objective of this research was to evaluate data from a randomized clinical trial that tested injectable
diacetylmorphine (DAM) and oral methadone (MMT) for substitution treatment, using a multi-domain dichotomous index, with
a Bayesian approach.
Methods: Sixty two long-term, socially-excluded heroin injectors, not benefiting from available treatments were randomized
to receive either DAM or MMT for 9 months in Granada, Spain. Completers were 44 and data at the end of the study period
was obtained for 50. Participants were determined to be responders or non responders using a multi-domain outcome index
accounting for their physical and mental health and psychosocial integration, used in a previous trial. Data was analyzed with
Bayesian methods, using information from a similar study conducted in The Netherlands to select a priori distributions. On
adding the data from the present study to update the a priori information, the distribution of the difference in response rates
were obtained and used to build credibility intervals and relevant probability computations.

Read more: heroin_vs_methadone_2_2009