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Study to Assess Longer-Term Opioid Medication Effectiveness (SALOME)

Principal Investigators: Drs. Eugenia Oviedo-Joekes and Michael Krausz

Status: Ongoing

Inner city populations, particularly injection drug users, are at high risk of many drug-related harms including HIV, hepatitis C, and overdose death. While some treatments exist, they are not optimal and people with the most severe cases of heroin addiction remain outside of the health care system.

To improve the treatment of addiction, CHÉOS Scientists Drs. Eugenia Oviedo-Joekes, Michael Krausz, and their colleagues are conducting an innovative clinical trial comparing diacetylmorphine, the active ingredient in heroin, and hydromorphone (HDM), a legal, licensed pain medication.
Researchers are attempting to determine alternative treatments for people with chronic heroin addiction who are not benefiting sufficiently from available treatments such as oral methadone. They are also testing if those effectively treated with these two injectable medications can be successfully switched to, and retained on, the oral forms of these medications. The SALOME team will give special attention to women and how they respond to the treatments they are testing. The ultimate goal of this research is to benefit people with the most severe cases of heroin addiction, as well as their communities.

The first results of the SALOME trial were published in April 2016 in JAMA Psychiatry.

More information at

April 2016 Press Release

March 2018 Press Release

Health research in the heart of Vancouver