EXPERT PANEL ASSESSES “SUBSTITUTION” IN GERMANY
Methadone treatment was illegal in Germany until 20 years ago; Today 70,000 patients receive this or other opiate agonist medication.
The bottom line conclusion of the panel (which convened in Feb. 2007): “Substitution” is a recognized long-term pharmacological treatment for opiate dependence. It serves to stabilize health and improve quality of life. Medication is not to be viewed merely as a path toward abstinence.
Among the panel’s recommendations: treatment of addiction should follow the same guidelines and standards that apply to management of all other chronic illnesses; and “take-home” of up to a month’s supply of medication should be permitted.
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