Which medications are suitable for agonist drug maintenance?

image - Pills Hands Square 280
Date Commenced:
2015
Project Supporters:

Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing

Project Members: 
image - Michael Farrell  Square
Director
Ph EA Jemma Sale: 02 9385 0292 / j.sale@unsw.edu.au
Project Main Description: 

This study aimed to examine the feasibility of agonist maintenance treatment for the major psychoactive drug classes: opioids, nicotine, benzodiazepines, cannabis, psychostimulants and alcohol.

Rationale: 

The wide application of opioid maintenance has led many to ponder, from both clinical and public health perspectives, whether agonist substitution is a possibility for other drug classes. To date, there has been no systematic examination of the major drug classes to determine their suitability for agonist maintenance treatment. 

Aims: 

To examine the feasibility of agonist maintenance treatment for the major psychoactive drug classes: opioids, nicotine, benzodiazepines, cannabis, psychostimulants and alcohol.

Design and Method: 

Eight clinical criteria for an agonist maintenancedrug were assessed for  each major drug class. These related to pharmacological aspects of the drug (agonist, pharmacologicalstability, dose response, non-toxic) and neurocognitive sequelae (psychiatric, cognitive, craving, salience). Drug classes assessed were opioids, nicotine, benzodiazepines, cannabis, psychostimulants and alcohol.

Output: 

A paper has been accepted for publication: Darke, S. & Farrell, M. (In press) Which medications are suitable for agonist drug maintenance? Addiction

Benefits: 

The study provides novel clinical insight into the appropriateness of each major drug of dependence for agonist maintenance. 

Project Research Area: 
Project Status: 
Completed
Year Completed: 
2015