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Using an 18-20-year follow-up of people with heroin dependence, we aimed to identify i) distinct trajectories of treatment use, ii) whether baseline characteristics predict treatment trajectory group membership, and ii) if group membership is associated with characteristics at 18-20-years post-baseline.
We characterised distinct trajectories of treatment use in people with heroin dependence over 18-20-years. Clinicians should be aware of the potential impact of demographics and substance use on long-term treatment use. Despite the well-documented benefits of long-term treatment, some patients may be able to achieve abstinence from opioids without engaging in treatment over the life-course.
A total of 615 people with heroin dependence were recruited from maintenance therapy, detoxification, residential rehabilitation, or needle and syringe programs as part of the Australian Treatment Outcome Study (ATOS), a longitudinal cohort followed up on seven occasions over 18-20-years between 2001 and 2021. Of those who had complete data (n = 393), group-based trajectory modelling and a series of multinomial logistical regressions were conducted.