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Table HSR-1. Year of introduction of methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), high-dosage buprenorphine treatment (HDBT) and heroin-assisted treatment, including trials

CountryMMTSourcesHDBTSourcesHeroin assisted Sources
Belgium(1, 2, 7)199452003220075
Czech Republic(3)1998520002
Germany(8, 9)19921, 102000220035
Spain(4, 10)199011996720035
Slovenia1990320052, 5
United Kingdom19681199921920s9
Updated when new information became available.
For MMT and HDBT, the dates reflect the official availability of the treatment.
Where data are not available for a country, the table entry is left empty.
Substitution treatment programmes are currently under preparation in Cyprus.
Methadone is officially registered in Turkey for the treatment of opiate addiction, but information on availability of treatment is missing.
See also 'General notes for interpreting data' on the Explanatory notes and help page.
(1) MMT was introduced following a National Consensus Conference, organised by the Ministry of Health in 1994.
(2) Legal basis for HDBT treatment created in Belgium in 2004.
(3) A first unofficial programme was already implemented in 1992; see Czech Republic National report 2000.
(4) After introduction in 1983, methadone substitution was prohibited again between 1985 and 1990.
(5) Methadone maintenance treatment began on trial basis in 1967 and was introduced on a permanent basis in 1981 in Sweden, see Skretting (2006).
(6) A methadone trial took place in Norway in 1994, see Skretting, A. (2006), ‘Treatment and harm reduction measures’, in: Kouvonen, P., Skretting, A. and Rosenqvist, P. (2006), Drugs in the Nordic countries, NAD publication 48, pp. 73–104.
(7) Heroin pilot project for 200 drug users, Autumn 2007–10, Liège (Belgium), see also Heroin delivery under control: feasibility and follow up study
(8) First methadone maintenance trial in Germany took place in the mid 1970s in Hannover, but only in 1987 first large-scale pilot project in North Rhine Westphalia began. Official introduction of MMT through change in narcotics law in 1992 (Michels et al., 2007).
(9) Randomised controlled trial of heroin-assisted treatment of 2003 was completed in 2006, see http://www.heroinstudie.de/ . Admission of diamorphine for regular treatment in 2008 (NR 2007)
(10) Clinical trials in Catalonia and Andalucia.
(11) In Luxembourg a pilot heroin assisted treatment scheme is under consultation.
(12) The Central Committee on the Treatment of Heroin Addicts was already established in December 1996 and preparations for the heroin pilot in the NL started in 1997. Clients were admitted from July 1998 onwards. Heroin prescription became a regular scheme in the Netherlands in 2006.
(13) In February 2008, it was decided to introduce a diamorphine prescription scheme in Denmark.


 (1) Farrell, F., Verster, A., Davoli, M., Nilson, M. and Merino, P. P. (2000) Reviewing current practice in drug-substitution treatment in the European Union, EMCDDA Insights series, No. 3, EMCDDA, Lisbon. 

 (2) EMCDDA (2005) Annual Report 2005: selected issues. No 3: Buprenorphine — treatment, misuse and prescription practices, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. 

 (3) EMCDDA (2003) The state of the drugs problem in the acceding and candidate countries to the European Union, Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. 

 (4) According to data on methadone consumption published by the INCB, Technical reports 'Estimated world requirements for 2001 — Statistics for 1999', ‘Part four, Statistical information on narcotic drugs’, INCB, 2000. Tables of reported statistics 1995–99. Table IX. 

 (5) Reitox national reports 2007

 (6) Personal communication, Manina Terzidou, 30 May 2006. 

 (7) Decreto 89/1996, of 4 June. 

 (8) Arpa S, Muscat R (P-PG/Epid 2003 37E, p. 30). 

 (9) United Kingdom National report, 2005. 

 (10) Michels II, Stöver H and Gerlach R (2007) Substitution treatment for opioid addicts in Germany. Harm Reduction Journal 2007, 4:5. 

 (11) Danish focal point. 

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Page last updated: Tuesday, 24 February 2009