What is the study about?
– We wanted to find out how many people receiving treatment for opioid addiction (methadone) have Hepatitis C and other blood borne viruses
– And whether anything changed between the years 2006 and 2013
Over a third of people who receive methadone in primary care and who drink excessively test positive for Hepatitis C
How was the study done?
– In 2013, we have done a secondary analysis of data collected during a feasibility study of an alcohol brief intervention for people attending primary care for methadone treatment
– We looked at two studies done in 2006 and 2013 and compared them
What did the study find?
– We found the proportion of patients with problem alcohol use was much higher (46% v 35%) in 2013.
– 37% of people who had Hepatitis C also drank excessively
In 2013, number of people who had Hepatitis C was not different from 2006, but more people drank excessively.
Why is the study important?
– Many people who receive treatment for opioid addiction have Hepatitis C
– Treatment of Hepatitis C is expensive
– Because heavy drinking can make the treatment even more expensive, we should help people drink less
Reference: Improvements in HCV-related Knowledge Among Substance Users on Opioid Agonist Therapy After an Educational Intervention. Journal of Addiction Medicine: September/October 2016 – Volume 10 – Issue 5 – p 363–364