METHODS: The three hundred participants comprised 152 opioid naive subjects and 148 opioid dependent patients. Opioid naive subjects had not taken any opioids including morphine and methadone to their best knowledge and were presumed so after two consecutive negative urine screenings for drugs. All opioid dependent patients were stabilized in treatment, defined as having been enrolled in the program for more than one month with no change of methadone dosage over the past one month. Excluded from the study were individuals with chronic or ongoing acute pain and individuals with a history of analgesics ingestion within 3 d before the cold pressor test (CPT). Pain tolerance to CPT was evaluated at 0 h, and at 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 h post-methadone dose.
RESULTS: Patients exhibited a significantly shorter mean pain tolerance time of 34.17 s (95% CI 24.86, 43.49) versus 61.36 (52.23, 70.48) [p < 0.001] compared with opioid naive subjects. Time-dependent mean pain tolerance was also significantly different when naive subjects were compared to patients (p = 0.016).
CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed hyperalgesia amongst patients on MMT, as manifested by their quicker hand withdrawal. The complaints of pain in this population should not be underestimated and the pain should be evaluated seriously and managed aggressively.
METHODS: We conducted an analysis of policy documents and over 60 h of participant observation in February 2016, which included focus groups with a convenience sample of 20 therapeutic community staff members, 110 prisoners across three male and one female prisons, and qualitative interviews with two former Clean Zone participants. Field notes containing verbatim quotes from participants were analyzed through iterative reading and discussion to understand how participants generally perceive the program, barriers to entry and retention, and implications for future treatment within prisons.
RESULTS: Our analyses discerned three themes: pride in the mission of the Clean Zone, idealism regarding addiction treatment outcomes against all odds, and the demonization of methadone.
CONCLUSION: Despite low enrollment and lack of an evidence base, the therapeutic community is buttressed by the strong support of the prison administration and its clients as an "ordered" alternative to what is seen as chaotic life outside of the Clean Zone. The lack of services for Clean Zone patients after release likely contributes to high rates of relapse to drug use. The Clean Zone would benefit from integration of stabilized methadone patients combined with a post-release program.
METHODS: A convenience sample of 96 HIV-positive and 104 HIV-negative incarcerated men who met pre-incarceration criteria for opioid dependence was interviewed using a structured questionnaire to examine participant characteristics and attitudes toward MMT. Factors associated with interest in prison-based MMT initiation were identified using logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: Among all participants, 85 (42.5%) were interested in receiving MMT within prison. Independent correlates of interest in prison-based MMT were being previously married (AOR=4.15, 95% CI: 1.15, 15.02), previously incarcerated (AOR=5.68, 95% CI: 1.54, 21.02), depression (AOR=3.66, 95% CI: 1.68, 7.98), daily heroin use in the 30days prior to incarceration (AOR=5.53, 95% CI: 1.65, 18.58), and more favorable attitudes toward MMT (AOR=19.82, 95% CI: 6.07, 64.74).
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, interest in receiving prison-based MMT was low, and was associated with adverse social, mental health, and drug use consequences. Incarceration provides a unique opportunity to initiate MMT for those who need it, however, optimal scale-up efforts must be systemic and address modifiable factors like improving attitudes toward and motivation for MMT. Informed or shared decision-making tools may be useful in improving expectations and acceptability of MMT.