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Argument: Needle exchanges help bring addicts into treatment programs

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"Drug abuse treatment success among needle exchange participants.R Brooner, M Kidorf, V King, P Beilenson, D Svikis, and D Vlahov:"Referring exchange participants to more comprehensive drug abuse treatment programs has the potential to reduce or eliminate the use of drugs. This possibility was evaluated by comparing the treatment responses of new admissions with an outpatient opioid agonist treatment program in Baltimore, Maryland. METHODS: New admissions (1994 - 1997) to an opioid agonist treatment program were first grouped by referral source (needle exchange, n = 82 vs. standard referrals, n = 243) and then compared on admission demographic and clinical variables and response to treatment during the first three months. Outcome measures included retention rates, self-reported drug use and injecting frequencies, self-reported illegal activities for profit, and results from weekly urinalysis testing for opioids and cocaine."

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