Rise of 'respectable' opioid misusers calls for a rethink

The methadone clinic model needs a makeover to address the growing number of ‘respectable’ pharmaceutical opioid users, say addiction researchers.

Australia now has close to 200,000 people dependent on pharmaceutical opioids who no longer resemble the stigmatised stereotype of unemployed injecting drug users, the International Medicine in Addiction conference in Sydney was told last week.

The traditional model of opioid substitution treatment was not suitable for the many ‘hidden’ pharmaceutical opioid users, who could be better managed by GPs with methadone