They are also three times more likely to do so in the first month of treatment than at any other stage of treatment.
People with opioid dependence have a 10 times greater risk of premature death than the general population. The most effective treatment is the prescription of legal, substitution drugs, most commonly methadone.
A new study, led by researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RSCI), analysed 2,899 people who were prescribed and dispensed methadone in addiction services between January 2010 and December 2015. They observed 154 deaths. Some 55 of these — 35.7% — were drug-related poisonings.
The rate of drug-related poisoning deaths was more than four times higher in the month after the ending of treatment, and it was more than three times higher in the first month of treatment than at any other stage of treatment.
These findings are consistent with growing evidence from other international studies.
Source: Kevin O'Neill, Irish Examiner, 20th February 2020