Opioid Substitution Treatment in Denmark
"Previously, the Danish Health and Medicines Authority recorded the number of persons in long-term methadone treatment based on data from the prescription register. The most recent records show that 5,700 persons in 2004 were admitted to substitution treatment with methadone. The records provided information about the number of persons admitted to methadone treatment under the Danish Prison and Probation Service and number of persons without a civil registration number (Sundhedsstyrelsen 2008a).
"From 2008, the figures are based on the number of drug abusers in substitution treatment with either methadone or buprenorphine on data reported to the register on drug abusers in treatment (SIB). Since the compilation method10 and the data basis11 vary from 2008 and onwards compared to the years before 2004, the results from the various periods are not directly comparable.
"The most recent figures from the register on drug abusers in treatment shows that among all those receiving drug abuse treatment, around 7,050 persons were in substitution treatment in 2011. When including data from the Danish Prison and Probation Service, the total number of persons in substitution treatment arrives at barely 7,600 in 2011. This is lower than the updated figures for 2010 based on the SIB data retrieved from the new joint reporting portal (SIB), which showed that less than 7,850 persons received substitution treatment.
"Buprenorphine and methadone are used in substitution treatment. The Danish Health and Medicines Authority's revised guidelines on the prescription of addictive medicines from 2008 emphasizes that buprenorphine should be used as a first-line preparation for opioid dependent drug users which had not previously been treated and that this drug in any event should be used to the greatest extent possible in substitution treatment.
"The number of persons in substitution treatment with buprenorphine were approximately 1,400 persons in 2011, which is slightly lower than in 2010, which could be due to the transition to the new drug abuser reporting portal, SIB."
Sundhedsstyrelsen (National Board of Health), "2012 National Report (2011 data) to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point: Denmark: New Development, Trends and in-depth information on selected issues," (Copenhagen, Denmark: Sundhedsstyrelsen, Nov. 2012), pp. 40-41.