To the Editor: In late 2003-2004, the White
House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the General Accounting Office,
and several state authorities reported that diversion and abuse of methadone
was emerging as a major problem in a number of metropolitan areas across the
United States.1-4 In
some states, it was asserted that methadone had surpassed controlled-release
oxycodone as the most widely diverted and abused drug, an assertion reinforced
by newspaper accounts.1-5 This
increase in reported methadone abuse was attributed to the increase in licit
and illicit exposure to methadone resulting from its inappropriate use as
a safer alternative to drugs with greater potential for abuse. To examine
the accuracy of these reports, we quantified information from an abuse and
diversion surveillance system.
Cicero TJ, Inciardi JA. Diversion and Abuse of Methadone Prescribed for Pain Management. JAMA. 2005;293(3):293–298. doi:10.1001/jama.293.3.297
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