A risk-benefit analysis of
methadone maintenance treatment

by
Bell J, Zador D
The Langton Centre,
Surry Hills,
New South Wales,
Australia.
jamesb@sesahs.nsw.gov.au
Drug Saf 2000 Mar; 22(3):179-90


ABSTRACT

Methadone maintenance treatment for heroin (diamorphine) addiction has been extensively researched. There is consistent evidence that while in treatment, heroin addicts are at a lower risk of death, are less involved in crime, and feel and function better than while using heroin. Despite the research evidence supporting methadone treatment, there remains widespread public scepticism about this form of treatment. This scepticism is frequently expressed in terms of the perceived risks of methadone treatment. The perceived risk that methadone treatment may maintain people in an addicted lifestyle is not supported by research literature. The risks of treatment include an increased risk of death during induction into treatment, and risks of diversion of drugs to the black market. For some patients, adverse effects of methadone pose a problem and the availability of new pharmacotherapies may provide useful options for these patients. Risks can be reduced and benefits increased by directing greater attention to the quality of treatment.
Risks
Safety
Methadone
Methadone advert
Does tapering work?
Methadone: structure
Opioids and depression
Methadone and cocaine
Methadone maintenance
Rapid opioid detoxification
Methadone and cancer pain
Methadone: "killer drug" etc
Buprenorphine v methadone
Methadone, LAAM and the rush
Methadone for tramadol addicts?
Breastfeeding mothers on methadone
Methadone/morphine as antidepressants