Methadone Therapy

Methadone administration historically has been the responsibility of both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). This organizational structure's policies has historically isolated methadone therapy from the medical mainstream and limited the development of physician expertise. However, the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 expanded the avenues for the treatment of opioid dependence in the United States from specially licensed methadone facilities to physicians' private offices, where Schedule III-V drugs can be prescribed (Fiellin and O'Connor 2002). Opioid substitution treatment has now been monitored by the Substance Abuse and Mental health Administration and has allowed the expansion of treatment to private practice, which supposedly will create opportunities to provide comprehensive care for addicted patients. It was aimed to reduce stigma associated with the use of opioids, bring addiction treatment into the mainstream of health care, and treatment become similar to that of other chronically ill patients. In addition, it was also hoped such expansion could perhaps provide public health benefits such as reducing heroin demand.

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