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September 1981

Long-term Follow-up of Clients of High- and Low-Dose Methadone Programs: Dr McGlothlin died shortly after this article was accepted. For the field and for many colleagues it is a loss that is keenly felt.—ED.

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(9):1055-1063. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780340107013

• A six- to seven-year follow-up of 1971-1973 admissions to three methadone hydrochloride maintenance programs was conducted. Ninety percent of those alive were interviewed. Two of the programs used a high-dose, long-retention policy, while the third used low doses and a relatively strict policy with respect to involuntary termination for program violations. Retention was much longer for the two high-dose programs, and during the sixto seven-year period from program entry to interview, the clients had significantly less arrests, incarceration, narcotic addiction, and self-reported criminal behavior than did the patients in the low-dose program. These advantages persisted until the time of interview and existed for periods with as well as without methadone. In addition, the overall social costs in the high-dose programs were substantially less than in the low-dose program.

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