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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007 Apr 17;88(1):91-5. Epub 2006 Oct 24.

In-patient detoxification procedures, treatment retention, and post-treatment opiate use: comparison of lofexidine + naloxone, lofexidine + placebo, and methadone.

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  • 1National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, 4 Windsor Walk, Camberwell, London SE5 8AF, United Kingdom.



In-treatment and post-treatment outcomes were compared for three detoxification procedures (lofexidine+naloxone, lofexidine+placebo naloxone, and methadone). SAMPLE AND DESIGN: The sample was 137 opiate dependent in-patients. Detoxification treatments were 6-day lofexidine+naloxone (n=45), lofexidine+placebo naloxone (n=46), or 10-day methadone reduction (n=46). A cohort study design was used with double-blind random allocation to lofexidine+naloxone versus lofexidine+placebo. Patients who did not consent to, or who were excluded from randomisation received methadone.


Outcome differences between treatment groups at follow-up were generally associated with length of stay post-detoxification rather than detoxification procedure. Among patients who were not opiate abstinent throughout follow-up (n=85), those who received lofexidine+naloxone detoxification reported a longer interval to first heroin use, with an interaction between detoxification medication and subsequent retention in treatment also identified.


Detoxification medication may influence medium-term opiate use outcomes via its effect upon retention in treatment.

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