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January 8, 1992

Ineffective Use of Psychoactive Drugs Methadone Treatment Is No Exception

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Clinical Research, Medical Affairs Branch, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration, Rockville, Md.

JAMA. 1992;267(2):281-282. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480020091039

The provision of ineffective methadone doses and the premature termination of methadone maintenance treatment have been well-recognized problems for many years in the treatment of opioid addiction. In 1980, 41% of the approximately 64 000 patients receiving methadone maintenance treatment had their dosages stabilized at less than 40 mg/d. Concern over the clinical implications of these treatment data was

See also p 253. a major reason my colleagues and I at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 1983 asked a group of drug abuse researchers and clinicians to review the wealth of drug abuse treatment research data compiled over the previous 15 years.1 The issue of appropriate methadone dose was reviewed in detail. The review resulted in a consensus that the dose of methadone should be individualized for each patient and that, for the majority, the most effective dose is between 50 and 100 mg. Furthermore, the