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July 4, 1977

Urine Testing in Methadone Programs

Author Affiliations

University of Oregon Portland

JAMA. 1977;238(1):26-27. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280010026005

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To the Editor.—  I wish to support the opinion of Dr Gottheil (237:870, 1977) that routine urine testing in methadone programs is an extreme waste of money. There is no evidence presented of cost-effectiveness with regard to helping rehabilitate patients, and every physician who has had much experience with these programs feels that, on a routine basis, they are a great waste of resources. Unfortunately, the persons in the government who propound these regulations, which have the force of law, are not physicians who have active practice with addicts. But once having been established as procedure, it is virtually impossible to stop this wasteful practice. By this time, to terminate the practice would put people out of work, and there is now a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.