The Coordinating and Information Resource Center for International Travel by Patients Receiving Methadone and other Substitution Treatments for Opiate Addiction
(“The Travel Resource Center” – TRC)
Ministerium für Gesundheit, Emanzipation, Pflege und Alter des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen
Baron Edmond de Rothschild Chemical Dependency Institute
“The Coordinating and Information Resource Center for International Travel by Patients Receiving Methadone and other Substitution Treatments for Opiate Addiction”
- is an international assistance point regarding international travels of methadone, buprenorphine, codeine/dihydrocodeine or morphine patients
- can be contacted by letter, phone, fax or email (see contact details below)
- supplies information on import regulations for methadone and other substitute substances (buprenorphine, codeine/dihydrocodeine, morphine) and on the possibilities of maintaining substitution treatment worldwide
- provides contact details of GPs, clinics, ambulatory/outpatient services prescribing substitute substances
- can be of assistance with making arrangements with foreign providers of drug substitution treatment to guarantee the continuation of treatment abroad/overseas
- provides direct support to patients when GPs, clinics, ambulatory/outpatient services abroad/overseas do not keep to arrangements agreed upon in advance of their journey (“black sheep” will be listed on our travel guide pages)
- is the national assistance point for foreign substitution patients seeking to travel to Germany
- prepares standard forms in different languages to be used as medical certificates
- provides a guide on “Travel Regulations for Patients Participating in Drug Substitution Treatment” on the internet in German and English
- seeks to establish a worldwide network of cooperation regarding travels of patients participating in drug substitution treatment
Methadone is used in the treatment of opiate addiction in at least 65 countries, including pilot programs:
Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, China (including Hong Kong), Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kenia, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom (plus overseas territories/dependencies), United States of America, Vietnam.
Buprenorphine treatment (including pilot programs) is currently available in at least 48 countries:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China (Hong Kong), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America
We estimate a total of at least 1,300,000 patients currently participating in opioid substitution treatments [including patients receiving slow-release morphine (e.g. Austria and France), dihydrocodeine or codeine (e.g. Germany) or diamorphine (e.g. Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands).
Clearly it must be said that in most countries opioid substitution treatment is not available nation-wide. Also, some countries provide opioid substitution treatments to a limited number of patients only. Moreover, regulations and treatment philosophies as well as (approved) patient numbers vary enormously.
Any corrections, additions or deletions that readers feel should be made to the listing of countries given above and/or the travel guide are greatly appreciated.