Generally, users of both heroin and crack are considered to be a homogeneous group.
This pilot study (n=42) aimed to compare treatment retention, heroin and crack use in OST (methadone or buprenrophine) for different patterns of crack use along with daily heroin use:
- occasional crack users
- daily crack users with no preference for one or the other drug
- daily crack users with preference for crack
In our sample we found that when on OST medication:
- daily dual users with preference for crack were able to stop using heroin while continuing to use crack
- dual users with no particular preference could not separate the two drugs.
These results suggest that daily dual users might not be a homogeneous group, and the stabilisation of clients on medication could be improved by applying different strategies depending on their patterns of dual use.
Studies with higher numbers are needed to assess significance, to further segment the group of occasional users, and to define clear outcome patterns to inform the development of tailored interventions for subgroups of dual users.
Download the poster presentation at EUROPAD conference here