Interactive workshop: Heroin assisted treatment: how to start the debate with whom?

Trainer: Peter Blanken (Senior research scientist at the Central Committee on the Treatment of Heroin Addicts Utrecht, and at the Parnassia Addiction Research Center The Hague; Netherlands).

Peter Blanken wrote: In this workshop I will present a short overview of the international evidence of the efficacy of supervised heroin-assisted treatment (HAT) in Europe and Canada (see: Fischer et al. 2007 Journal of Urban Health, 84 (4): 552-62; Blanken et al. 2010 European Neuropsychopharmacology, 20 (suppl 2): S105-58). Then I intend to have an interactive discussion with the participants of the workshop on various crucial elements of HAT, like for instance: comprehensiveness of the addiction (substitution) treatment system; target population of treatment-refractory heroin addicted patients; political and social support for HAT; and financial aspects (costs and benefits).

CV: Peter Blanken is a senior research scientist at the Central Committee on the Treatment of Heroin Addicts (CCBH; Utrecht, NL) and at the Parnassia Addiction Research Center (PARC; The Hague, NL). Peter Blanken started his research in Rotterdam, doing multi-method (qualitative, ethnographic, and quantitative) field research on drug use patterns and consequences in the natural context of drug users' lives. Since 1999 he is a member of the CCBH research team, studying efficacy and long-term outcome of co-prescribed heroin-assisted treatment, and effectiveness of cocaine contingency management among patients in heroin-assisted treatment. Since 2002 he is also working at the PARC, where − among other things − he is actively involved in the multidisciplinary research project “Prevalence, treatment needs and new pharmaco-therapeutic treatment options for crack dependent people in the Netherlands” and “Money for Medication (M4M): A randomized controlled study on the effectiveness of financial incentives to improve medication adherence in patients with a psychotic disorder and comorbid substance abuse”.