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Archives for Intravenous drug abuse

Addiction

Guilt by Association?

A local District Attorney wrote to me last week to express his concern about the increased diversion of buprenorphine.  I often sense an undercurrent of tension when I cross paths with attorneys, aware of the different attitudes that we hold that arise from our different roles in society.

The DA wrote about the dramatic increase in overdose deaths in the Midwest.   Overdose scenes are often littered with a variety of substances, ranging from bags of heroin to...
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Addiction

Heroin in the Heartland

A local newspaper—the Oshkosh Northwestern—carried a story last week about a major drug bust in the part of Wisconsin that I call home. According to the story, the 45 people arrested were responsible for the distribution or sale of several million dollars worth of heroin and crack cocaine. The online story features a slide show featuring the mug shots of the people arrested in the bust.

I’ve known a number...
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Addiction

Buprenorphine vs. Methadone for Heroin Addiction


Researchers in Pisa, Italy recently published findings from a study of heroin addicts treated with either buprenorphine or methadone.  The study was a follow-up to earlier studies by the same group;  one that examined the personality characteristics of heroin addicts, and a second that measured the impact of agonist treatment on psychiatric symptomatology and the quality of life of heroin addicts.

The recent third study, published in the Annals of General Psychiatry, divided...
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Addiction

Harm Reduction or Mixed Messages?

Ready for a little controversy?  A decade or so ago, a new approach to addiction treatment was developed under the general heading of ‘harm reduction.’ Proponents of the approach realized that many addicts will never achieve total sobriety from all intoxicating substances, efforts were best focused on reducing the most harmful consequences of addiction—drunk driving, overdose deaths, and the use of the most addictive substances.

Treatment centers focused on the use of opioids, and...
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