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publicado em 20/04/2012 às 12h11:00
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Medical treatment of heroin aids consumers chronic drug

EMCDDA says that therapy with injectable heroin under medical supervision leads to "substantial improvements" in health in this group

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A small population of chronic consumers of heroin, that some time ago was considered impossible to treat, benefits from a new type of therapy that uses heroin as a medicinal drug substitution. The application of the approach advanced in the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), in Portugal.

Titled New heroin-assisted treatment, the study presents the first overview of the research that has been done on the subject, examining the latest data and clinical experience already gained in this field, both within and outside Europe.

According to information published on Science Today, the prescription of substitution drugs such as methadone and buprenorphine, has become the main treatment for opiate addiction. However, the EMCDDA explains, there are a small minority of chronic users of opiates that fails to respond to such interventions. In this case, the experts concluded that the medicinal use monitored heroin can be an effective treatment for this second row of small group.

Over the past 15 years, six countries within and outside Europe, decided to test this new clinical approach. Nowadays, treatment with injectable heroin under surveillance is already legally available to people who use opiates for a long time and did not respond to other treatments, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and United Kingdom and Switzerland. However, in Spain, Canada is allowed only in research tests.

According to EMCDDA report, treatment with injectable heroin under medical supervision can lead directly to substantial improvements in health and welfare of this group, large reductions in their continued consumption of heroin sold illegally on the street, a major abandonment of criminal activities such as crimes committed with the intention of obtaining money to support drug and marked improvements in their social integration.

The treatment is not simply to provide heroin to addicts who use underlines Wolfgang Götz, EMCDDA Director, who continues: it is rather a treatment regimen heavily regulated and directed a group of patients particularly difficult to treat.

Regarding the future of therapy, the report says that the challenge is to create a viable operating system that allows treatment to manage this new heroin users seriously affected, without endangering other patients' adherence to more orthodox forms of treatment replacement. The next studies will also examine the long-term outcomes of patients undergoing treatment with injectable heroin, the various forms of administration of diamorphine (inhaled or oral) or the use of alternative injectable opiate drugs.

   Palavras-chave:   Heroin    Injecting heroin    Heroin    Medical    Consumer chronic treatment    New heroin-assisted treatment    Therapy      
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