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Subcutaneous naltrexone implants reduce opioid use in opiate dependent patients

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Does a 6 month naltrexone implant reduce opioid use after inpatient treatment compared with usual care?


56 opiate dependent patients (>18 years) who completed an inpatient treatment programme based on drug abstinence. Exclusion criteria: pregnant, psychotic or serious liver disease (except latent hepatitis C).


Two addiction treatment centres, Norway; 1 January 2006-1 July 2007.


Subcutaneous naltrexone implant (2.2g naltrexone) versus usual care (counselling, access to maintenance programmes, hospital and community services, as needed).


Primary outcomes: self-reported opioid use (heroin, morphine, codeine, methadone, or buprenorphine; number of days of opioid use in previous 30 days; frequency of use within the 6 month trial period); number of overdoses. Primary outcomes were derived from the Addiction Severity Index and the timeline follow-back interview technique. Secondary outcomes included: number of participants meeting DSM-IV opioid dependence and abuse (Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview); other drug use; depression (Beck Depression Inventory and Hopkins Symptom Checklist-depression sub-scale); and life satisfaction (Temporal Satisfaction with Life Scale ‘present'). Satisfaction with treatment over the study period and craving were assessed using visual analogue scales.

Patient follow-up

52 (93%) …

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  • Sources of funding South Eastern Norway Health Authority and Aker University Hospital.


  • Competing interests None

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