Diamorphine-Assisted Treatment

Diamorphine-assisted treatment is the prescription and provision of hygienic, medical-grade diamorphine to patients in a clinical set-up – patients attend a clinic and are dosed by a clinician once or twice a day depending on individual needs.

Drug-related deaths in the UK have risen significantly over the past 10 years, with a steep increase in preventable overdoses. Diamorphine-assisted treatment is a viable harm reduction strategy with great potential to alleviate this public health issue.

This module explains everything you need to know about Diamorphine-assisted treatment.

Diamorphine-assisted treatment

In this module you will learn what diamorphine-assisted treatment is and the locations of diamorphine-assisted treatment around the world.

We'll explain the history and current developments of diamorphine-assisted treatment in the UK, and worldwide, before diving deep into the evidence and arguments for and against diamorphine-assisted treatment. 

Using real-world case studies, you'll learn how diamorphine-assisted treatment performs as a harm reduction strategy and why further research is needed to build a UK evidence-base of the efficacy of diamorphine-assisted treatment in reducing drug-related harm to support legal reform.

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About this module

The Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA) is very happy to have worked with Drug Science to develop and update this slide series for use in medical education. Medical practitioners are often the first people to come into contact with people who use substances, and it is vital that those practitioners are able to provide a positive response and to deliver evidence-based interventions from that first moment and all the way through to the end of that person’s care.

These slides are primarily for use in medical education settings but have been carefully designed to ensure that they are accessible for a wide range of people. They will therefore provide a rapid overview for medical students and other healthcare professionals. They are free to use; the aim of both organisations is to optimise dissemination of research into practice, so if these slides are of use to you, please use them. If you have any queries, please contact Drug Science or SSA and we will be glad to answer your questions.

The project has used the extensive knowledge and expertise of Drug Science and the SSA to develop these up-to-date, evidence-based and accessible resources. We hope you enjoy them.

Society for the Study of Addiction

The aim of the SSA is to broaden and promote the scientific understanding of addiction. They particularly aim to advocate for the use of research evidence in policy and practice.

The SSA was founded in 1884 as the ‘Society for the Study and Cure of Inebriety’ and is the oldest organisation of its type in the UK. The SSA disseminates research through the journals ‘Addiction’ and ‘Addiction Biology’, through its Annual Conference, through its website and social media, and by supporting third-party projects and conferences. The society funds PhDs, academic fellowships, travelling fellowships, post-doctoral studies, and offers bursaries to improve access to training and education in addiction.

Enhanced Harm Reduction Working Group

The Drug Science Enhanced Harm Reduction Working Group is a consortium of scientific experts, academics, policy makers, treatment providers and advocacy groups, cooperating to reduce the harms of intravenous drug use.