Brief Overview of RUTH

The Research on the Utilization of Therapeutic Hydromorphone (RUTH) study examined 131 individuals between 2016 to 2018 receiving two forms of injectable opioid agonist treatment (iOAT) – diacetylmorphine (pharmaceutical grade heroin) – and hydromorphone, for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). IOAT is a state-of-the-art OUD treatment option for a number of individuals for whom traditional treatment approaches have not worked.

The aim of the RUTH study was to determine the effectiveness of iOAT for individuals transitioning to this treatment after receiving iOAT as part of a blinded randomized clinical trial where they did not know what form of iOAT they were receiving. Participants received open-label medication in RUTH, meaning the medication received was not concealed from the participant or researchers, at Crosstown Clinic in Vancouver, BC, where it was dispensed and self-administered under the observation of a nurse. Those enrolled in the study also completed comprehensive self-reported questionnaire packages at eight timepoints over 18 months and a select number completed one-on-one interviews.