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July 1975

Self-Regulated Methadone Detoxification of Heroin AddictsAn Improved Technique in an Inpatient Setting

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1975;32(7):909-911. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1975.01760250101011

We used a method of detoxifying heroin addicts involving a self-regulated schedule of methadone hydrochloride detoxification in an inpatient setting. This method allows the addict to receive methadone on an "as needed" basis within specified guidelines, thus permitting him to regulate his own detoxification.

For this study, 30 chronic heroin addicts were detoxified using this self-regulated detoxification procedure. Measures of length of stay, amount of methadone required, and degree of patient satisfaction indicate that this is a practical means of withdrawing chronic heroin addicts that may have advantages over fixed withdrawal schedules.