WHILE THE use of methadone hydrochloride for both opiate maintenance and detoxification has been well described in the medical literature1-4 during the past decade, recent legislation has expanded the boundaries of the federal regulatory role in drug-abuse treatment to cover the maintenance and detoxification of drug-dependent persons with all narcotic drugs.
The little-known Narcotic Addict Treatment Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-281, May 1974) placed the federal government's control of methadone on a firm legal foundation. This additional control was accomplished by giving to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the Department of Justice the responsibility for registering all practitioners who use methadone or other narcotic drugs in the treatment of narcotics addiction.
The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), representing the interests of health professionals, must, under this act, publish treatment standards and advise the DEA whether applicants to conduct maintenance or detoxification treatment should be
DuPont RL, Dormer RA, Nightingale SL. Treatment of Narcotics Addiction With Narcotic Drugs. JAMA. 1976;235(15):1565–1566. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260410021016
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