Opioid Substitution Treatment (OST) offers people with opiate dependency the opportunity to change their drug use, without the dangers of a ‘cold turkey’ detoxification.
Detoxification, or ‘detox’ is dangerous. Particularly when it comes to opiates. The withdrawal from opiate dependence can result in a wide range of unpleasant symptoms (see 'A bit about Drugs – Opiates')
So what does OST offer?
Opioid substitution allows opiate users to reintegrate back into society by reducing the typical behaviour associated with opiate dependence. For many opiate users, due to the severity of the dependence, they find themselves going to any lengths to pay for their drug. This often becomes a full time job. OST is a legal way of managing opiate dependence and allows the user to begin the process of change.
The long-term goal of OST is to help the user become opiate free. This is often a lengthily process, with guided systematic reduction systems.