The German government undertook a randomized, multi-center clinical study in addicted patients within the federal states of Hamburg, Hessen, Niedersachsen and Nordrhein-Westfalen and the cities of Bonn, Frankfurt, Hannover, Karlsruhe, Cologne und Munich. Patients were provided with randomized substitution therapy with either heroin or methadone.
Holistic health care and psychosocial support was provided to all participants. Criminological evaluation was undertaken in parallel. Dose reduction and indeed addiction resolution, as well as specific indicators of social reintegration were evaluated.
Based upon the results of this study, the German Parliament implemented a new law in 2009, which permits the administration of Diamorphine in severely addicted patients in controlled settings. It is estimated that some 3.000 patients initially benefited from this new therapeutic approach.