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Substance abuse/dependence treatment: a European perspective.

During the past decade, substantial progress has been made in the field of addiction medicine in Europe, particularly regarding the development of new treatment interventions, resulting in a wide range of therapeutic options for patients with substance use disorders. However, not all interventions are evidence based. Patients with cannabis and cocaine/amphetamine use disorders and special patient populations especially lack evidence-based treatment recommendations. Many patients undergo treatment that has not been scientifically evaluated for quality and efficacy. Moreover, there are large disparities regarding availability and treatment access across Europe, with the new member states of the European Union (EU) reporting long waiting lists and low treatment coverage. Even in Austria, which ranks among the countries with relatively high treatment coverage and good diversification of treatment in opioid maintenance therapy due to the availability of methadone, buprenorphine, and slow-release oral morphine (SROM), a considerable population of untreated or inadequately treated patients exists. Treatment for substance use disorders in Europe still has scope for improvement in terms of treatment availability and access, which is ideally provided by further development and implementation of evidence-based interventions.

Authors: Metz, Verena E VE; Brandt, Laura L; Unger, Annemarie A; Fischer, Gabriele G

Substance abuse. 2014 Dec 01;35(3):309-20. Epub 2014-07-15.

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