Opioid users treated in drug detention centers more likely to relapse

December 8, 2016 by Ziba Kashef, Yale University
Opioid users treated in drug detention centers more likely to relapse
Credit: stock.adobe.com

Individuals who are dependent on opioids are more likely to relapse after treatment in a compulsory drug detention center versus a voluntary drug treatment center that provides methadone therapy, say the Yale authors of a new global study.

Published in The Lancet Global Health, the study is the first to compare the outcome of both approaches and confirms the ineffectiveness of compulsory drug detention centers.

An estimated 600,000 people who use opioids are detained in compulsory drug detention centers in East and South East Asia each year. The centers result in high rates of drug relapse and disruption to people's social networks after release, accelerating the risk of negative consequences, such as infection, overdose, and death, said the researchers.

The research team compared treatment approaches in Malaysia where both types of treatment centers exist. They studied 89 people from compulsory centers and 95 from voluntary centers. The patients took drug tests and were interviewed when they joined the study, and repeatedly after release (at one, three, six, nine or 12 months post-release).

The researchers found that people held in compulsory centers were 84% more likely to relapse to opioid use, and did so 10 times sooner—within 31 days—compared with 352 days for those in voluntary centers.

"Our findings strongly support international calls to eliminate compulsory drug detention centers by showing that they are ineffective in treating drug dependence, especially for those who use opioids," said Yale professor of medicine and study author Frederick Altice, M.D. "Countries using these measures should instead increase the availability of proven opioid agonist therapies, such as methadone, assure adequate access to voluntary treatment programs in community settings, and make it easier for people with opioid addiction to seek ."

Explore further: Some drug addicts more likely to relapse than others, study finds

Related Stories

Some drug addicts more likely to relapse than others, study finds

April 13, 2016
People with drug addictions who started opioid abuse later in life use injections for their drugs, or increased their use of downers before starting drug treatment, are more likely to relapse from treatment than others, says ...

Long-acting treatment for opioid addiction reduced risk of relapse

March 30, 2016
In a multicenter, randomized clinical trial, ex-prisoners who received six monthly injections of naltrexone—a long-acting medication that blocks opioid receptors in the brain—were significantly less likely to resume opioid ...

Methadone increases death risk in first four weeks of treatment for opioid dependence

September 16, 2015
Patients who start treatment for dependence on opioids are five times as likely to die in the first four weeks when they are prescribed the most commonly used treatment, methadone, than with an alternative treatment, buprenorphine, ...

Methadone linked to 30 percent of painkiller overdoses

July 4, 2012
The prescription drug methadone is linked to over 30 percent of painkiller overdose deaths, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Tuesday.

Study debunks claim that drug treatment centers are unsafe

February 15, 2016
(HealthDay)—Violent crimes are less likely to occur near outpatient drug treatment centers than near liquor and corner stores, a new study finds.

Recommended for you

Marijuana use may not aid patients in opioid addiction treatment

December 4, 2017
Many patients who are being treated for opioid addiction in a medication-assisted treatment clinic use marijuana to help manage their pain and mood symptoms.

For opiate addiction, study finds drug-assisted treatment is more effective than detox

November 23, 2017
Say you're a publicly insured Californian with an addiction to heroin, fentanyl or prescription narcotics, and you want to quit.

Study finds medical cannabis is effective at reducing opioid addiction

November 17, 2017
A new study conducted by researchers at The University of New Mexico, involving medical cannabis and prescription opioid use among chronic pain patients, found a distinct connection between having the legal ability to use ...

Insomnia linked to alcohol-use frequency among early adolescents, says new psychology study

November 8, 2017
Insomnia is linked to frequency of alcohol use among early adolescents, according to new Rutgers University–Camden research.

Large declines seen in teen substance abuse, delinquency

October 25, 2017
More than a decade of data indicates teens have become far less likely to abuse alcohol, nicotine and illicit drugs, and they also are less likely to engage in delinquent behaviors, such as fighting and stealing, according ...

Trying to get sober? NIH offers tool to help find good care

October 3, 2017
The phone calls come—from fellow scientists and desperate strangers—with a single question for the alcohol chief at the National Institutes of Health: Where can my loved one find good care to get sober?


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.