The Effects of Law Enforcement Activity on a Population of Opiate Abusers

This study examined the effect of police action against heroin pushers on clients of methadone programs in metropolitan Denver. On November 10, 1979, twenty suspected drug dealers and buyers were arrested and another twenty were under investigation in a vice squad operation in metropolitan Denver. The operation involved an undercover agent who mingled with addicts and bought opiates over an extended period from dealers, who were later arrested within a 48-hour period. Newspaper reports indicated that most of those arrested had been selling heroin in the vicinity of the outpatient clinic operated by Addiction Research and Treatment Services (ARTS) of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Although linked to the clinic by the press, only two of those arrested were known to clinic personnel. In this study we examined the patterns of opiate use of the clients enrolled in that clinic as reflected by the presence of opiate metabolites in their urine samples collected before and after the drug bust. The clinical course of a sample of clients who abused opiates before, but not after the bust was examined. In addition, urine data from the other two methadone programs in the city were examined. Metropolitan Denver Read more […]

Opioid Use by Adolescents

Screening for alcohol abuse and illicit drug use needs to be a standard procedure in any practice that cares for adolescents and young adults. Recent national surveys indicate that prescription pain relievers have replaced marijuana as the most common entry drugs for adolescents beginning to experiment with drugs. In this chapter, we review appropriate screening tools and management approaches for use in this population. We cover standard treatment options with a focus on the treatment of adolescents dependent on heroin or opioid pharmaceuticals and the promising role of buprenorphine in the treatment of this high-risk population. A case is presented at the end of this chapter, including related questions for additional consideration. Epidemiology Opioid abuse among adolescents is a growing problem in the United States. According to data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Monitoring the Future study, use of “narcotics other than heroin” has doubled among high school students since the year 2000, with marked increases in the use of long-acting oxycodone tablets and hydrocodone-acetaminophen combination tablets. In 2007, the annual prevalence for oxycodone and hydrocodone use reached its highest level Read more […]