Sunday, October 19, 2008

New treatment works

From the Vancouver Province:
A legal painkiller called Dilaudid is more effective in treating serious heroin addiction than methadone therapy, according to a groundbreaking Canadian study.

The North American Opiate Medication Initiative, also known as NAOMI, examined the effectiveness of prescription heroin on hard-core addicts in Vancouver and Montreal, who have repeatedly failed treatment in the past.

Over a 12- to 15-month period beginning March 2007, 115 addicts in the study were prescribed medical-grade heroin, while 25 addicts were given hydromorphone or Dilaudid in a double-blind study. A control group of 111 addicts received oral methadone.

The results, released Friday, showed improved physical and psychological health, a decrease in illicit heroin use and a drop in criminal activities among all participants.

The retention rate for addicts receiving heroin or Dilaudid was 88 per cent. All but one of the addicts receiving Dilaudid were not able to distinguish it from heroin. ...more

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