HOP Student to Present at AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting

Wegman pic 1_20_2016Martin Wegman, an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awardee and M.D.-Ph.D. student at the University of Florida, will present an abstract at the 2016 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting in Boston on June 26-28. The AcademyHealth meeting is the leading forum for professionals in the field of health services and policy research.

Wegman will present his abstract, “Relapse to Opioid Use Occurs Sooner in Opioid-Dependent Persons Released from Compulsory Drug Detention Centers Compared to Voluntary Methadone Treatment Centers in Malaysia.” In his paper, Wegman compares the drug rehabilitation outcomes of patients in two types of government-supported “treatment” programs in Malaysia: compulsory drug detention centers, which are commonplace throughout East Asia, and voluntary drug treatment centers. While compulsory abstinence, forced work, and athletic drills are standard care in the detention facilities, the voluntary centers provide methadone maintenance therapy on a voluntary inpatient basis. Wegman found that when he compared the average time a patient relapses after release to the community, those who had participated in the voluntary treatment center program were significantly more likely to remain drug-free than those who had been confined in a compulsory drug detention center.

“This will likely be the first peer-reviewed report comparing outcomes between compulsory drug detention centers and voluntary treatment centers,” Wegman said. “This information holds significant power when distinguishing which programs can lead to a brighter future for patients and their families.”

Read more about Wegman’s work in Malaysia in this announcement and in this POST article: http://post.health.ufl.edu/2014/09/19/24859-82-miles/