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March 1976

Heroin Addiction: Sequential Treatment Employing Pharmacologic Supports

Author Affiliations

From Stanford University and the Addiction Research Foundation, Palo Alto, Calif.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1976;33(3):353-358. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1976.01770030061009

• A system of treatment for heroin addiction is proposed under the acronym STEPS (sequential treatment employing pharmacologic supports). Small steps characterized by decreasing narcotic-induced euphoria and increasing social rehabilitation are expected eventually to bring the addict to an abstinent and well-functioning state, if that is possible. The dichotomous assessment of "success" or "failure" is rejected in favor of the expectation of partial and temporary improvements, as with any chronic relapsing disease.

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