Increased Somatic Morbidity in the First Year after Leaving Opioid Maintenance Treatment: Results from a Norwegian Cohort Study

Background/Aims: Some patients on opioid maintenance treatment (OMT) leave treatment temporarily or permanently. This study investigated whether patients interrupting their OMT differed from non-interrupters in sociodemographic and drug-use characteristics and examined acute/sub-acute somatic morbidity among the interrupters, prior to, during, and after OMT.

Cohort design.

Observation Period:
5 years prior to, up to first 5 years during, and up to 5 years after interruption of OMT.

The sample (n = 200) comprised 51 OMT interrupters and 149 non-interrupters. Data on patient characteristics were obtained from interviews and OMT register information. Data on somatic morbidity were gathered from hospital records.

Key patient characteristics among OMT interrupters and non-interrupters. Incidence rates of acute and sub-acute somatic disease incidents leading to hospital treatment (drug-related/non-drug-related/injuries) prior to/during/after OMT.

nterrupters and non-interrupters did not differ in sociodemographic characteristics, while longer duration of amphetamine and benzodiazepine dependence predicted OMT interruption. Interrupters scored significantly higher on drug-taking and overdose during OMT but still had a significant 41% reduction in drug-related treatment, episodes. After interruption of treatment, such episodes increased markedly and were 3.6 times more frequent during the first post-OMT year compared to the pre-OMT period (p < 0.001). This increase was highest during the first months after OMT interruption. 2–5 years after interruption there was no significant increase.

Increased somatic morbidity was found among OMT interrupters during the first year after OMT, and especially during the immediate post-treatment period. 

Link til artikkel

  • Forfattere: Skeie I., Brekke M., Clausen T., Gossop M., Lindbaek M., Reinertsen E., Thoresen M., Waal H.
  • Publisert: Eur Addict Res 2013;19:194–201
Publisert 1. feb. 2013 11:16