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Characteristics of methadone-related overdose deaths and comparisons between those dying on and off opioid agonist treatment,Issue 64, Winter 2018.

Creator:

Cathy Kelleher

Catalogue: Research and Evaluation
Report
Type: Report
Region: Administrative County
Description:

A national cohort study published online in Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems aimed to describe characteristics of methadone-related overdose deaths in Ireland and to compare deaths occurring among those registered for opioid agonist treatment (OAT) with deaths among those not registered.1 OAT involves the use of drugs such as methadone or buprenorphine to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms among those addicted to opioids such as heroin.

 

It is well established that OAT, including methadone substitution therapy, can reduce deaths among problem opiate users. However, OAT is also associated with a risk of accidental overdose, as patients can experience lowered tolerance for opioids following a period of abstinence. Individuals completing detoxification, leaving prison, or exiting OAT may therefore be especially vulnerable to accidental death by overdose. Previous research in Ireland found that people treated with methadone were nearly four times more likely to die in periods off treatment than in periods on treatment.2

Date:

01/02/2018

DOI:

10.14655/6841-1146281

Rights: Public
Suggested citation:

Cathy Kelleher. (2018) Characteristics of methadone-related overdose deaths and comparisons between those dying on and off opioid agonist treatment,Issue 64, Winter 2018. [Online]. Available from: http://publichealthwell.ie/node/1146281 [Accessed: 30th March 2020].

  

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Contributor:

National Drugs Library
 
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