Diversion-the practice of patients selling or sharing their medication-is a much debated problem of opioid substitution treatment. Regular diversion by patients was studied at 11 opioid substitution treatment programs in the south of Sweden. Using quantitative and qualitative data, it was investigated whether those patients differ from other patients, their motives for and means of diversion, and who the recipients are. Regular diverters are a small, yet heterogeneous group. Continued illicit drug use, however, stands out as a common risk factor. Pecuniary need and a desire to help friends are other important motives. The client base mainly consists of people from the regular diverters' own drug milieus.
Keywords: Methadone; buprenorphine; diversion; illicit use; opioid substitution treatment.