Document Detail

Methadone-related deaths in Norway.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23246070     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
INTRODUCTION: The use of methadone in opioid maintenance treatment (OMT) is potentially associated with a number of adverse effects and the risk of fatal toxicity. Increased methadone availability may lead to an increase in methadone-related deaths. We have investigated methadone-related deaths in Norway over the period 2000-2006. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Methadone-positive samples over the period 2000-2006 were identified from forensic toxicological investigations, and demographic and toxicological data were retrieved. The cases were cross-linked with the Norwegian Cause of Death Registry and regional OMT registers. RESULTS: A total of 312 individuals had died after taking methadone over the period 2000-2006, predominantly men with a mean age of 36. In 85% of cases (n=264), the deceased had died of a methadone-related intoxication, most often in combination with other drugs, including benzodiazepines, cannabis and other opioids. Only 22% of the deceased had been in OMT at the time of death. A larger proportion of OMT patients had died of causes other than intoxications compared to those not in OMT (30% vs. 8%, respectively), most commonly related to disease. CONCLUSIONS: One methadone-related death occurred, on average, every week over the time period investigated. Only 22% of the deceased were registered in opioid maintenance treatment (OMT) programs. The findings underline the need to control diversion of medication from OMT programs.
Jean-Paul Bernard; Ingrid Havnes; Lars Slørdal; Helge Waal; Jørg Mørland; Hassan Z Khiabani
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-12-12
Journal Detail:
Title:  Forensic science international     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1872-6283     ISO Abbreviation:  Forensic Sci. Int.     Publication Date:  2012 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-12-18     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7902034     Medline TA:  Forensic Sci Int     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division of Forensic Medicine and Drug Abuse Research, Oslo, Norway; Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, Department of Pharmacology, Oslo, Norway. Electronic address:
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