Diversion of opioid maintenance treatment medications and predictors for diversion among Finnish maintenance treatment patients
The object of this study was to examine the prevalence and predictors for diversion of the opioid maintanense treatment (OMT) medications buprenorphine-naloxone (BNX) and methadone (MET) among Finnish OMT patients.
International Journal of Drug Policy 2015 26, 9, s. 875-882
Diversion (i.e. selling or giving away) of opioid maintenance treatment (OMT) medications is a challenge that concerns many units providing OMT worldwide and tools for prevention are needed. The object of this study was to examine the prevalence and predictors for diversion of the OMT medications buprenorphine-naloxone (BNX) and methadone (MET) among Finnish OMT patients.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among all Finnish OMT patients of whom 60% (n = 1508) participated. The data were collected by anonymous questionnaires distributed through all OMT units in Finland.
Of all respondents, 7% had sold and 12% had given away their own OMT medication. More diversion is associated with BNX medication and its low (<9.0 mg) daily dose. Most diversion occurs among patients who use intoxicating drugs intravenously.
In order to reduce diversion, more interventions are needed to support patients to stop concurrent substance abuse. Given that sub-optimal dosing of BNX increases the risk of diversion, more attention should be paid to providing patients with an optimal medical dose.
Keywords: Substance use, Opioid maintenance treatment, Abuse, Diversion, Buprenorphine, Methadone