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August 9, 2000

Methadone Maintenance for Opioid Dependence

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Executive Deputy EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;284(6):694-695. doi:10.1001/jama.284.6.691

To the Editor: In the study by Dr Sees and colleagues1 on methadone "treatment" for opioid dependence it is inappropriate to compare patients receiving a stable dose of methadone to those either undergoing detoxification or recently detoxified. The authors point out that 50% of the participants used illicit opioids and that there was no difference in cocaine use between the groups. They reported that neither group showed changes in 5 problem areas: employment, family, psychiatric, legal, and alcohol use. On the other hand, the 12-step recovery mode has been proven for 65 years. Once sober and totally drug free, the life of the recovering addict changes dramatically in all areas.

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