Abstract for: Surfacing the hidden demand for opioid dependent treatments for drug policy makers

Illicit drug policy has been the subject of important SD studies addressing the interaction between policing and medical treatment and estimating the prevalence of national cocaine use. Here we modeled the impacts of policy changes associated with wider use of newer opioid pharmacotherapies besides methadone. These newer drugs allow less supervision of dosing and changes in the mix of prescribing and dispensing arrangements. Key aspects of the model were estimation of potential demand for the enhanced range of therapies and the cost and treatment impacts of changes in cycling on and off treatments due to pricing and service configurations. Here we describe the use of SD models to provide a logical consistent framework for stimulating debate about incomplete and ambiguous data and clarifying the differences in expectations and goals of treatment among broad groups of policy makers. Our methodology included incorporating key concepts accepted from previous economic equilibrium Markov models and control phase plots from previous modeling in the area. Funded by the Australian National Council on Drugs (www.ancd.org.au) This material is yet to be released.