Sunday, February 18, 2007


A literature review published in 2005 analyzed reported abstinence rates AFTER detoxification form methadone maintenance. It found that, collectively, only 32% of some 1900 patients were defined as “abstinent” after an average period of observation of 27 months. It should also be noted that some definitions of “abstinence” were very loose: one defined it as including “at least one month during the follow-up period with no intense use.” One can only hope that patients considering detoxification from successful methadone maintenance treatment are being advised up front of these very gloomy results. As for treatment providers who encourage (or force) patients to detoxify, one has to wonder about their clinical and ethical judgment. The review: Kornor H and Waal H: From opioid maintenance to abstinence: a literature review.” Drug and Alc Rev 24:267-274, 2005

FROM HERMAN JOSEPH, NYC, THE FOLLOWING COMMENT (blogged with permission) : That study seems to fall into the work that I did with Dole and the review in the MT Sinai journal of medicine which i commissioned from Magura and Rosenblum who did an article on the subject when i was guest editor--They did the classic Leaving methadone lessons learned lessons forgotten--By the way he should also include excessive use of other drugs such as alcohol since patients abstained from heroin only to drink excessively and eventually die from alcoholism--The Magura article is in volume 68 number 1 January 2001 of the Mount Sinai Journal of medicine--Also see the article causes of death in Vol 67 number 5&6 Oct /Nov 2000 by Appel, Joseph and Richman--Both articles are in the issues that I edited and can be downloaded free from the Internet by going to the web site of the Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine and clicking on past issues You can google it --very simple


At 2:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel sorry to hear about the low abstinence rate from methadone maintenance. However, I still believe that this medication can help in the process of heroin detox. But perhaps, what it truly offers is not an absolute cure but mere support to help the body recover from the addiction. I think that treatment should emphasize more on counselling in knowing that self-motivation for patients is really important for successful heroin detox. Nice job! I can't wait to read more about your posts on this topic.

At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Possibly this is another random set of numbers taken from somewhere to use in the brainwashing patients when they walk in the door that they will be walking in the door for the rest of their lives. More $ to these methadone clinics. How sad that this article. It makes the addict feel like they are powerless so they may as well just give into it. Propoganda at it's worst.

At 11:58 PM, Blogger martha said...

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