Script in a day for injecting drug users: feasibility trial

Lead investigator
Dr Matthew Barber, University of Bristol

Injecting heroin causes serious chronic health problems. Engaging heroin users in treatment with methadone and needle and syringe programmes is important in protecting drug users from Hepatitis C (HCV) transmission, and provisional UK data suggests that the combination of interventions is most effective at reducing HCV. Methadone reduces the risk of fatal overdose, drug related crimes and is highly cost effective.

There are many chaotic injecting drug users in Bristol who do not access treatment despite the high quality primary care based treatment service available in most GP surgeries in Bristol.

Aims & objectives
To reduce the barriers to these patients starting treatment by offering drug users accessing a needle exchange scheme (at Bristol Drugs Project) the opportunity to start treatment with methadone on the same day.
Study design

Randomised controlled trial to evaluate feasibility of the intervention.

  • Injecting drug users presenting for needle exchange at Bristol Drugs Project (BDP) and not in treatment will be invited to take part.
  • Half will be randomised to receive the new intervention, whilst the remaining half will continue to receive usual care.
  • The study will evaluate whether accelerated access to opiate substitution therapy from BDP increases uptake and retains patients in treatment.
  • Participants will be followed up for three months to see if they remain in treatment and if their health improves as a result.
Further information & publications
Start date
October 2011
End date
September 2013
Trial register number