Effects of prolonged diacetylmorphine take-home prescription in Heroin assisted treatment in Switzerland
Background: Opioid agonist treatments (OAT) constitute the first line therapy for patients with severe opioid dependence. In Switzerland, regular OAT (methadone, buprenorphine, slow release morphine) and heroin assisted treatment (HAT) are available, but the later under stricter legal regulation: Until the beginning of 2020 only two take home doses of diacetylmorphine could be prescribed. As a counter-measure to the COVID pandemic, Swiss government increased the allowed take home prescriptions of Diacetylmorphine from 2 to 7 days. We explored the safety, acceptability and quality of life effects of prolonged take home prescriptions of Diacetylmorphine to HAT-patients.
Methods: Data was collected between 18th of March and 28th of August 2020 through two cross-sectional, anonymous, computer assisted telephone interviews (CATI).The sample included patients with more than two days take home Diacetylmorphine doses, who voluntarily participated.
Conclusion Take-home prescription of diacetylmorphine to qualified HAT-patients up to one week is possible without major risks, and promotes patients’ social integration and wellbeing.