Monday, March 22, 2010

“Waiting List” for Methadone Maintenance in Baltimore:

A 2009 publication (Am J Drug Alc Ab 35:290-294) reports on 120 applicants for methadone maintenance placed on a “waiting list.” After 4 months only 21% had been admitted, and of the remainder almost 90% had received no “formal drug abuse treatment” of any kind. In discussing these outcomes the authors note that “methadone treatment is a low-cost and highly effective approach … [and] given the even lower cost and proven efficacy of interim methadone, its more widespread use could greatly improve treatment access and outcomes. “ They also note the "requirement tied to states' receipt of [federal] drug treatment block grants ... [to] admit IDUs within 14 days of request, or provide interim services when such timely admission is impossible." Left unsaid is why states appear to ignore this rule - and apparently do so with impunity.


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