Effectiveness of drug tests in outpatients starting opioid substitution therapy.
BACKGROUND In addiction care, urine drug screening tests are recommended to assess psychoactive substances use. While intrinsic diagnostic value of these tests is demonstrated, the consequences of carrying out these tests on opiate maintenance treatment (OMT) have not been established. The main objective will be to assess the impact of on-site urine drug screening tests (OS-UDS) in general practice compared to routine medical care on OMT retention at 6 months in opioid-dependent patients initiating buprenorphine. METHODS/DESIGN The ESUB-MG study uses a pragmatic, cluster randomized controlled trial design. General Practitioners (GPs) regularly managing patients treated with buprenorphine and consenting for participating will be invited to participate. GPs will be randomly assigned to one of two groups for 6 to 24 months: (a) control group (usual care: standard medical strategy for assessing drug use); (b) interventional group (including 1/ a training session on practice and interpretation of OS-UDS; 2/ the supply of OS-UDS at GPs' medical offices; 3/ performing an OS-UDS before the first prescription of buprénorphine). GPs will have to include 1 to 10 patients aged 18 years-old or more, consulting for starting treatment by buprenorphine, not opposed to participate. The primary outcome will be OMT retention at 6 months. DISCUSSION This randomized interventional trial should bring sufficient level of evidence to assess effectiveness of performing OS-UDS in general practice for patients treated by buprenorphine. Training GPs to drug tests and supplying them in their office should lead to an improvement of opioid-addicted patients' care through helping decision. TRIALS REGISTRATION NCT02345655 (first registration May 14, 2014).