In 2003, a randomised controlled trial (RCT) comparing injected diacetylmorphine and oral methadone was carried out in Andalusia, Spain. The subsequent follow-up study evaluated the health and drug use status of participants, 2 years after the completion of the trial. This follow-up cohort study was carried out between March and August 2006. Data collected included information on socio-demographics, drug use, health and health-related quality of life. Patients who received HAT showed better outcomes compared with those not on HAT. The results of this study strengthen the evidence showing that HAT can improve and stabilise the health of long-term heroin users with severe comorbidities and high mortality.
The main purpose of this evaluation was to determine to what extent the principal goal of Dutch drug policy has been achieved, as stated in the 1995 Policy Document on Drugs (Drugsnota). This asserts the primacy of protecting public health, and thus gives priority to drugs prevention and to the management of the individual and social risks that arise from drug use.