Decision rules for GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) detoxification: A vignette study
Number of pages
SourceDrug and Alcohol Dependence, 135, febr, (2014), pp. 146-151
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
Drug and Alcohol Dependence
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
Background GHB dependent patients can suffer from a severe and sometimes life-threatening withdrawal syndrome. Therefore, most of the patients are treated within inpatient settings. However, some prefers an outpatient approach to treatment. The aim of this study was to develop decision rules for addiction physicians to determine whether an outpatient or inpatient setting should be chosen for a safe GHB detoxification. Methods A prospective vignette study was performed. Forty addiction medicine specialists from various treatment settings and residents of the Addiction Medicine postgraduate Master training were asked to contribute vignettes of GHB dependent patients. A focus group of 15 psychiatrists and addiction medicine specialists was asked to recommend an outpatient or inpatient setting for GHB detoxification treatment per vignette. Finally, five addiction medicine specialists, experts in GHB dependence treatment in the Netherlands, assessed the bio-psychosocial reasons for the choices of the focus group and formulated the recommended criteria. Results Based on the bio-psychosocial state of twenty vignette patients, addiction physicians and psychiatrists established the criteria and conditions recommended for the indication of an outpatient GHB detoxification. Intensity of addiction (GHB dose ≤32 g/d and frequency of abuse ≤2 h) was stated as the primary criterion in determining the setting as well as the complexity of the psychiatric comorbid disorders. The importance of a stable support system was emphasised. Conclusion The vignette study resulted in a set of criteria with which addiction medicine specialists can make a weighted decision as to an outpatient or inpatient setting for GHB detoxification.
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