Opioid Assisted Treatment - The SALOME Study





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Published on Apr 5, 2016

The Study to Assess Longer-term Opioid Medication Effectiveness (SALOME)
For more detail visit website: www.providencehealthcare.org/salome/index.html

Opioid Assisted Treatment (OAT) dispensed both during and after the SALOME study at the Crosstown Clinic in Vancouver Canada has had a profound impact on the lives of SALOME participants.

Here we look at the impact of OAT from the perspective of participants being treated in SALOME and from clinic staff who give treatment.

This video was made by Colin Askey and Eric Sanderson with the support of the InnerChange Foundation.


Injectable diacetylmorphine (the active ingredient of heroin) delivered under supervision has shown to be an effective treatment for long-term heroin users that continue injecting in the street despite other treatment options being available. However, diacetylmorphine is not available in Canada and many countries. SALOME compared diacetylmorphine with hydromorphone, a legal, licensed pain medication to see if hydromorphone could be an effective alternative treatment option for people with chronic heroin addiction.

Providing injectable opioids in specialized clinics is effective and ensures safety of both the patients and the community, and the provision of comprehensive care. SALOME showed that hydromorphone, a widely available pain medication, is in many cases as effective as diacetylmorphine for treating severe opioid use disorder.

The treatments offered during SALOME and today at the Crosstown Clinic have been very effective at keeping participants engaged in health care. Since the study began in January 2012, over 80% of the participants are still accessing treatment regularly. Staying in treatment has allowed participants to significantly improve their health, sociability and quality of life, while eliminating the need to engage in high-risk behaviors, such as crime.


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