PISA, Italy, May 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
For the first time since its inauguration, leading clinicians and policy makers convene at Global Addiction to discuss the unintended consequences of suboptimal care and future treatment outcome models for drug addiction
Findings from the European Quality Audit of Opioid Treatment (EQUATOR), presented today at Global Addiction 2013, raise questions about differences in treatment delivery systems across Europe that may contribute to the likelihood of treatment success. Data showed that current treatment systems are not achieving the desired outcomes of medication assisted treatment (MAT), and are failing to be optimised to help people with opioid dependence achieve recovery.
The European Drug Strategy 2013 - 2020, published at the end of last year, calls for increased access to diverse drug treatments, as well as rehabilitation and social support; informed patient choice; a reduction in the number of drug-related deaths across Europe; a decrease in the misuse of prescribed controlled medications (i.e. prescription opioids); and social reintegration and recovery. Data presented at Global Addiction highlights that significant steps still need to be taken to achieve the ambitions outlined in the Drug Strategy.
- More than one third of patients (37%) are not currently receiving psychosocial counselling or support of any kind, despite evidence that such support improves treatment outcomes
- Marked variation exists in awareness of different treatment options, although informed patient choice is considered critical to patients accessing treatment and outcomes 
- Normalising addiction by treating in a primary care setting, as per the 2008 World Health Organization directive, is proven to have a positive impact on treatment outcomes. In France, physicians providing treatment were almost entirely GPs (93%), and data demonstrated France was notably associated with the lowest rate of overdose history (2%), and the highest rate of patient employment (59%).
"These findings highlight that, whilst significant strides have been made in recent years to move from a harm reduction model towards a recovery treatment platform, current treatment systems are still failing to achieve optimal outcomes for the majority of patients," comments Icro Maremmani, co-Chair of Global Addiction and Professor of Addiction Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy. "The meeting of minds between leading European clinicians and policy makers at Global Addiction marks another step in the journey towards normalising addiction and achieving recovery for patients. The meeting is a platform for discussions around frameworks to develop robust estimates of the costs of untreated opioid dependence and an innovative approach to compare results in opioid management - including capturing outcomes across four domains: mortality in treatment, individual, societal and harm related results".
About Global Addiction
The 7th Global Addiction will be held in Pisa, Italy in May 2013. It is a joint conference with EUROPAD, the European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association. It also includes participation from other associating organisations including ESBRA, SEEA and APSAD. The conference aims to cover all topics relating to the understanding and treatment of all addictive disorders. This includes pre-clinical, neurophysiological mechanisms through diagnostic and treatment strategies to societal guidelines and health economics.
Global Addiction is the annual meeting of the Global Addiction Association. The Association's mission is to represent the intersection of policy, academia and clinical practice. Through shared experience, discussion and debate, it aims to create a voice which represents best practice in addiction treatment.
For more information about the conference, including the full programme, and the Association visit: http://www.globaladdiction.org
- Stöver H, Fischer G, Goulão J. Optimising opioid dependence treatment systems in Europe: what can we learn from the EQUATOR analysis?. Panel Discussion. Global Addiction, 8 May 2013.
- Horizontal Drugs Group 2012. EU Drugs Strategy 2013 - 2020. Available at: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/12/st17/st17547.en12.pdf Last accessed 2 May 2013.
SOURCE Global Addiction