Opioids

Treatment

Swensen G, Ilett KF, Dusci LJ, Hackett LP, Ong RTT, Quigley AJ, Lenton S, Saker R & Caporn J. Patterns of drug use by participants in the WA methadone program, 1984-1991. Medical Journal of Australia, 1993, 159, 373-376.

Swensen G, Quigley A & Lenton S. 
Hepatitis B infection – a proxy measure of risk factors for HIV infection in IDUs? (Letter to Editor).  Medical Journal of Australia, 1990, 153, 434-435.

Swensen G. 
The cost of the Western Australian methadone program. Australian Drug/Alcohol Review, 1989, 8, 35-37.

A study of the cost of the WA methadone program for the year 1986, when methadone treatment was only provided through a public methadone program based at William Street Clinic, which was operated at that time by the WA Alcohol & Drug Authority.

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Quigley AJ, Seow SSW, Ilett KF, Dusci L, Swensen G, Harrison-Stewart A & Rappeport L. 
Buprenorphine detoxification after maintenance treatment. Australian Drug/Alcohol Review, 1987, 6, 5-10.

Seow SW, Quigley AJ, Ilett KF, Dusci LJ, Swensen G, Harrison-Stewart A & Rappeport L. 
Buprenorphine: a new maintenance opiate? Medical Journal of Australia, 1986, 144, 407-411.

Seow S, Swensen G, Willis D, Hartfield M & Chapman C. 
Extraneous drug use in methadone-supported patients. 
Medical Journal of Australia, 1980, 1, 269-271.

Managing overdoses

Hargreaves K, Lenton S, Phillips M & Swensen G. 
Potential impacts on the incidence of fatal heroin-related overdose in Western Australia, a time series analysis. Drug & Alcohol Review, 2002, 21, 321-327.
 

In response to the rising concerns about the rate of heroin-related fatalities, overdose prevention campaigns, run by both users’ organizations and government agencies, have been implemented in a number of states across Australia. 

In Western Australia (WA) in mid-1997, various overdose prevention initiatives were implemented. These included the implementation of a protocol limiting police presence at overdose events; the commencement of naloxone administration by ambulance staff; and the establishment of the Opiate Overdose Prevention Strategy (OOPS) which provided follow-up for individuals treated for overdose in emergency departments. 

This paper reports the results of a multiple linear regression analysis of 60 months of time series data, both prior to and following the implementation of these interventions, to determine their impact on the number of fatal heroin overdoses in WA covering the period January 1996 to December 2000. 

The model employed in the analysis controlled for changes over time in proxy indicators of use and community concerns about heroin, as well as market indicators. 

The results suggest that, although the interventions implemented have managed to reduce the expected number of fatalities, they have become less successful in doing so as time passes. 

Swensen G. 
Opioid drug deaths in Western Australia: 1974 – 1984. Australian Drug/Alcohol Review, 1988, 7, 181-185.
 

A study of the 108 opioid related deaths in Western Australia (WA) in the 11 year period from 1974 to 1984, found that nearly two thirds of these were due to the use of licit opioids. 

Whilst the most frequent licit opioid related death was due to propoxyphene, an important finding was that 19 deaths were due to methadone – most of which occurred at a time when methadone was unregulated & prescribed & dispensed by private practitioners. 

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