To identify literature relating to sterile needle and syringe access programs, psychosocial interventions, and outreach, a research librarian searched the following databases from 1980 to January 2006: PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Cochrane, Grey Literature Report, Social Science Abstracts, Web of Science, and WorldCat.

In investigating psychosocial treatment, the Committee also considered evidence from two systematic reviews from the Cochrane Collaboration:1

  • Psychosocial Combined with Agonist Maintenance Treatments versus Agonist Maintenance Treatments Alone for Treatment of Opioid Dependence

  • Psychosocial Treatment for Opiate Abuse and Dependence

In evaluating the effectiveness of pharmacotherapies for opioid and stimulant dependence, the Committee relied primarily on evidence in several Cochrane reviews:

  • Substitution Treatment of Injecting Opioid Users for Prevention of HIV Infection

  • Methadone Maintenance Therapy versus No Opioid Replacement Therapy for Opioid Dependence

  • Buprenorphine Maintenance versus Placebo or Methadone Maintenance for Opioid Dependence

  • LAAM Maintenance versus Methadone Maintenance for Heroin Dependence

  • Oral Naltrexone Maintenance Treatment for Opioid Dependence

  • Methadone Maintenance at Different Dosages for Opioid Dependence

  • Antidepressants for Cocaine Dependence

  • Treatment for Amphetamine Dependence and Abuse

  • Carbamazepine for Cocaine Dependence

  • Dopamine Agonists for Cocaine Dependence


The Cochrane Drug and Alcohol Review Group (the Review Group) is part of the Cochrane Collaboration, which was developed in the United Kingdom in 1992 with the goal of producing systematic reviews of the effects of various health care interventions that can be used by clinicians to guide their day-to-day practice. The Review Group conducts systematic reviews of primarily randomized clinical trials and controlled clinical trials of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation interventions targeting drug dependence. To date, the Review Group has published over 30 reviews and 15 protocols. Available at:;

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