Medications currently used to treat alcohol and opioid use disorders also appear to reduce suicidality and crime, results from a large population-based study suggest. “While it has been established that these medications are effective in reducing alcohol and opioid use, this is the first time that real-world improvements in these key health and social outcomes have been demonstrated,” lead author Seena Fazel, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, said in a statement.
Reduction in Suicidal Behavior
The researchers analyzed data for more than 21,000 people who received treatment with at least one of four medications used to treat alcohol and opioid use disorders. These included acamprosate (Campral, Forest Laboratories), naltrexone (multiple brands), methadone (multiple brands), and buprenorphine (multiple brands).
They compared rates of suicidal behavior, accidental overdose, and crime for the same individuals during the period when they were receiving one of these medications with rates during the period when they were not.
No significant associations with any of the primary outcomes were found for acamprosate.