Migration and Home Affairs

Opioid substitution therapy or treatment (OST)

A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P Q R S T U V W X

Opioid substitution therapy indicates an intervention in which patients who are dependent on fast-acting opioids (such as heroin) are administered slow-acting opioids instead (such as methadone and buprenorphine). The treatment is described using a range of terms, including ‘substitution’, ‘maintenance’, ‘agonist’ and ‘pharmacologically assisted’. The term OST has limitations because it does not describe the nature of the medications involved, which do not necessarily have substitutive effects for illicit opioids, but may instead reduce cravings and support the control of addictive behaviour.