Alcohol Use among Persons on Methadone Treatment
NEW PAPER OUT NOW
Limited evidence that alcohol causes mortality among persons on methadone treatment
What is the study about?
· We wanted to find out whether alcohol causes deaths among persons on methadone treatment
Current evidence is mixed about the negative impact of alcohol on deaths among persons on methadone treatment.
How was the study done?
· We looked at how, how many, and what types of people in methadone treatment in the Vancouver Injection Drug Users Study (VIDUS) died because of alcohol.
What did the study find?
140 (of the 1139 included) participants died during follow-up, and 21 died due to overdose
85 reported heavy drinking at baseline
heavy drinking and mortality were not related, regardless of whether they were on methadone treatment
Alcohol could possibly contribute to deaths among persons on methadone treatment but it did not so in this study.
Why is the study important?
• Methadone is effective in treating heroin addiction, but many people taking it also drink excessively. One common complication in this treatment is hepatitis C infection. Together with alcohol, it affects liver negatively
Reference: Klimas, J., Dong, H., Dobrer, S., Milloy, M-J, Kerr, T., Wood, E., Hayashi, K. (2016) Alcohol Use among Persons on Methadone Treatment. Addictive Disorders& Their Treatment In Press
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