• EN

New heroin-assisted treatment

EMCDDA, Lisbon, April 2012

Publication type:



The prescription of substitution drugs, such as methadone and buprenorphine, has become a mainstream, first-line treatment for opioid dependence, with around 700 000 of Europe’s 1.3 million problem opioid users receiving substitution treatment today. But a small minority of entrenched opioid users repeatedly fails to respond to interventions of this kind. Findings from international trials now suggest that the supervised use of medicinal heroin can be an effective second-line treatment for this small, and previously unresponsive, group. In this latest EMCDDA Insights report, experts describe the development as ‘an important clinical step forward’. The report provides the first state-of-the-art overview of research on the subject, examining the latest evidence and clinical experience in this area in Europe and beyond.

Download as pdf (1.3Mb):

English (en)

Table of contents

  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgements
  • Executive summary
  • Chapter 1: Introduction to this EMCDDA Insights
  • Chapter 2: Development of supervised
    injectable heroin treatment in Europe and beyond
  • Chapter 3: Scientific evidence base for supervised
    injectable heroin treatment
  • Chapter 4: Economic evaluation of supervised
    injectable heroin treatment
  • Chapter 5: Pharmaceutical diacetylmorphine products
  • Chapter 6: Implementation and clinical practice of supervised injectable heroin treatment in Europe and beyond
  • Chapter 7: Conclusions
  • Bibliography
  • Glossary







Catalogue number:


About the EMCDDA

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is the reference point on drugs and drug addiction information in Europe. Inaugurated in Lisbon in 1995, it is one of the EU's decentralised agencies. Read more >>

Contact us

Praça Europa 1, Cais do Sodré
1249-289 Lisbon
Tel. (351) 211 21 02 00

More contact options >>

Page last updated: Thursday, 19 April 2012