Jan. 17, 2023 – “You don’t have the same feeling—no rush, [the high is not] the same high as you get from injecting,” Dr. Vogel told Filter. And some people who don’t want to inject nonetheless “need this high in order to stabilize.”

To meet this need, Vogel and colleagues across Switzerland developed a new way of providing heroin-assisted treatment (HAT): a nasal spray.

Vogel, along with his colleagues and their associated out-patient clinics, recently released a paper, published in the Harm Reduction Journal, showing the results of a four-week observational study in which interested HAT participants were able to access the spray.

The team had first considered different options for a new route of administration for HAT. An early idea was taking the available heroin tablets and crushing them so participants could snort them—which many people were doing anyway, Vogel noted. However, there are various other compounds that go into the pills, he said, such as silicates, which could get into and damage the lungs if snorted. “From the point of harm reduction, this is not optimal.”


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