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February 9, 1970

A Methadone Program for Addicts With Chest Disease

Author Affiliations

From Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY.

JAMA. 1970;211(6):977-982. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170060041008

The methadone hydrochloride maintenance method of Dole and Nyswander for the treatment of hard-core heroin addicts has been adapted to the needs of a municipal hospital chest disease service. Treatment is begun on the wards and continued after discharge in a special outpatient clinic, though patients not requiring hospitalization may begin as outpatients. In the first 33 months of the existence of the Methadone Chest Disease Program (MCDP), 165 heroin addicts with a variety of chronic chest diseases were seen. Of the 127 interested in the program, 19 (14.9%) were rejected; of the 93 accepted, 63 (68%) remain on the program and are being successfully treated for their dual problems. This program has made these difficult patients manageable in the hospital and has led to successful medical treatment and a high degree of social rehabilitation.