A Narrative Review of Pharmacotherapy Treatment for Opioid Addiction and Application in a Community-Based Model in Victoria, Australia

Tejaswini Patil Vishwanath, Penelope Cash, Wendy Penney, Robyn Cant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


To review the literature regarding the value and consumer focus of research on opioid replacement therapy (ORT) programs, relevant to the Australian rural context and community pharmacy. We conducted a narrative review of literature published between 1995 and 2015, searching EBSCOhost, PubMed and Google Scholar. Three authors collaborated to screen and synthesise studies. Effectiveness, cost affordability, diversion and retention benefits were reported from pharmacological or prescribers’ or dispensers’ standpoint. Research was fragmented and evaluated contributions of these individual types of stakeholders with less discussion of consumers, or consumers’ everyday experiences of ORT. No studies took into account consumers’ psychosocial aspects or power discourses. We found ORT as a beneficial treatment for opioid dependence is well researched, although overall Australian program evaluation was lacking. A gap within ORT literature should be addressed by making consumer experiences central in designs for future research and for program evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-76
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Community pharmacy services
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Literature review
  • Opioid substitution treatment

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