Opioid users treated in drug detention centers more likely to relapse

December 8, 2016 by Ziba Kashef
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

Concern with potential rise in super-potent cannabis concentrates

July 21, 2017
University of Queensland researchers are concerned the recent legalisation of medicinal cannabis in Australia may give rise to super-potent cannabis concentrates with associated harmful effects.

Findings link aldosterone with alcohol use disorder

July 18, 2017
A new study led by scientists at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, demonstrates that aldosterone, a hormone produced in the adrenal glands, may contribute ...

Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18

July 17, 2017
A study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth, found that young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence.

Why does prenatal alcohol exposure increase the likelihood of addiction?

July 7, 2017
One of the many negative consequences when fetuses are exposed to alcohol in the womb is an increased risk for drug addiction later in life. Neuroscientists in the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions are ...

Researchers say U.S. policies on drugs and addiction could use a dose of neuroscience

June 23, 2017
Tens of thousands of Americans die from drug overdoses every year – around 50,000 in 2015 – and the number has been steadily climbing for at least the last decade and a half, according to the National Institute on Drug ...

Study provides further support for genetic factors underlying addictions

June 13, 2017
Impairment of a particular gene raises increases susceptibility to opioid addiction liability as well as vulnerability to binge eating according to a new study.


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.