Methadone not the cheapest approach

Researchers conducted an economic analysis based on a trial of diacetylmorphine, which found addicts stayed in treatment longer compared to methadone replacement.

These addicts also had less relapses and criminal behaviour, leading to an average lifetime societal cost of $1.09 millionper person compared to $1.14 million for those on methadone.

“The question I get most about heroin-assisted therapy is whether we can afford the increased direct costs of the treatment,” an author said. “The more appropriate question is whether we can afford not to.”

CMAJ 2012, online 12