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February 15, 1971

Methadone Maintenance Treatment for 25,000 Heroin Addicts

Author Affiliations
From Rockefeller University, New York.
JAMA. 1971;215(7):1131-1134. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180200055012

Methadone maintenance programs in the United States and Canada are now treating about 9,000 former heroin addicts. The data from these studies amply document the safety of this medication and its efficacy in stopping heroin addiction when it is given under good medical control.

Detailed statistics have been collected in New York city by our central data office and made available to the independent evaluation committee directed by Dr. Frances Gearing. This committee has recommended continued support and expansion of the maintenance programs. The New York State Narcotics Addiction Control Commission has allocated an increased proportion of its next year's budget to maintenance treatment, and political leaders have called for an immediate expansion of maintenance programs in New York to a caseload of 25,000.

It would seem from all this that the only remaining problems of the methadone programs are to live with prosperity, and forget old arguments, now obsolete.