Evaluating the impact of Laws Regulating Illicit Drugs on Health and Society

The Effectiveness and Efficacy of Prescribed Diacetylmorphine (Heroin) in Reducing Drug-related Harm

Author(s): Jeanette Bowles*, Nazlee Maghsoudi MGA, Samantha Young, Sarah Griffiths and Gillian Kolla

Pp: 48-62 (15)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815079241123010007

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Opioid overdoses have dramatically increased throughout the past 20 years. Overdoses and other harms associated with the use of the unregulated opioid supply have resulted in a consortium of approaches to reduce drug-related harms, which for decades has included heroin-assisted treatment, although there remains widespread reticence to implement this approach in spite of ample evidence to support its effectiveness. Heroin-assisted treatment is often reserved for persons who have attempted standard opioid agonist treatments - such as methadone - unsuccessfully in order to be eligible for heroin-assisted treatment in countries and regions where available. To date, heroin-assisted treatment is only available in nine countries, mostly in Europe. Heroin-assisted treatment has higher retention rates than other forms of opioid agonist treatments, is cost-effective, reduces overdose morbidity and mortality, and improves public order. Nonetheless, regulatory structures impede its implementation. The present chapter herein presents further details of the evidence on heroin-assisted treatment and newer treatment modality iterations, such as injectable opioid agonist treatment and safe opioid supply programs. 

Keywords: Diacetylmorphine, Diamorphine, Fentanyl, Harm reduction, Heroin, Heroin-assisted treatment, Hydromorphone, Injectable opioid agonist treatment, Medication for opioid use disorder, Opioid agonist treatment, Safe opioid supply programs, Supervised injectable heroin.

Related Journals
Related Books
© 2024 Bentham Science Publishers | Privacy Policy