Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Year-long opiate substitution for drug misusers has 85 percent chance of cutting deaths

Date:
October 28, 2010
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Giving people opiate substitution treatment to help with their drug addiction can lead to a 85 percent plus chance of reducing mortality, according to a new study.

Giving people opiate substitution treatment to help with their drug addiction can lead to a 85% plus chance of reducing mortality, according to a new study published on the British Medical Journal website.

Related Articles


Researchers from Bristol and London found that the length of time people had opiate substitution treatment (OST) for had a large impact on its success and the likelihood of death.

Opiate users have a high risk of death, often from overdose.

OST, mostly methadone and buprenorphine, is central to prevention of drug related mortality and often delivered in primary care settings. Over the past 10 years, opiate prescription has more than doubled while the number of deaths involving methadone has fallen. However, the overall number of opiate deaths has not decreased and targets to reduce overdose deaths in England and Wales have not been met.

Previous research has shown that there may be an elevated risk of death during OST initiation (first 28 days) and in the first few weeks after OST has been stopped.

So the researchers studied data from the General Practice Research Database (GPRD), a database containing anonymised patient records from more than 460 general practices in the UK.

They analysed data on 5,577 patients who had a substance abuse diagnosis and received 267,003 OST prescriptions during 1990-2005. These patients were followed up until one year after the expiry of their last OST prescription, or the date of death before this time has passed, or the date of transfer away from the practice.

The researchers looked at mortality rates comparing periods in and out of treatment compared with the general population.

A total of 178 (3%) patients died either on treatment or within a year of their last prescription. The rate of death amongst people off treatment was almost double that of people taking treatment.

In the first two weeks of OST, the mortality rate was 1.7 per 100 person years -- more than three times higher than the mortality rate during the rest of time on treatment.

The mortality rate was also raised substantially in the period immediately after treatment and people were eight to nine times more likely to die in the month immediately after stopping OST.

The researchers calculated that OST had an 85% and higher chance of reducing overall mortality in opiate users if they were taking the treatment for 12 months or longer.

They conclude: "Clinicians and patients should be aware of the increased mortality risk at the start of opiate substitution treatment and immediately after stopping treatment. Further research is needed to investigate the effect of average duration of opiate substitution treatment on drug related mortality."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. Cornish, J. Macleod, J. Strang, P. Vickerman, M. Hickman. Risk of death during and after opiate substitution treatment in primary care: prospective observational study in UK General Practice Research Database. BMJ, 2010; 341 (oct26 2): c5475 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c5475

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Year-long opiate substitution for drug misusers has 85 percent chance of cutting deaths." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101026203642.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2010, October 28). Year-long opiate substitution for drug misusers has 85 percent chance of cutting deaths. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101026203642.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Year-long opiate substitution for drug misusers has 85 percent chance of cutting deaths." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101026203642.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will bring additional state resources to help stop the epidemic. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 26, 2015) Governor Mike Pence declares the recent HIV outbreak in rural Indiana a "public health emergency" and authorizes a short-term needle-exchange program. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins