"The unnecessary regulations of methadone maintenance therapy and other long-acting opiate agonist treatment programs should be reduced, and coverage for these programs should be a required benefit in public and private insurance programs."
Methadone & Buprenorphine
Data, statistics and information about conventional opioid substitution therapy including methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone
Methadone Mortality and Pain Medicine: "Taken together, the data confirm a correlation between increased methadone distribution through pharmacy channels and the rise in methadone-associated mortality. The data, thus, support the hypothesis that the growing use of oral methadone, prescribed and dispensed for the outpatient management of pain, explains the dramatic increases in methadone consumption and the growing availability of the drug for diversion to illicit use.
Cost of Untreated Opioid Dependence: "The financial costs of untreated opiate dependence to the individual, the family, and society are estimated to be approximately $20 billion per year."
Efforts Needed to Overcome Opposition to Opioid Agonist Treatment: "The wide international variation in the availability of opioid agonist treatment for opioid-dependent injection drug users, despite documented scientific evidence in support of its efficacy, highlights the impact of political and philosophical forces that determine the availability of this treatment. Few proven therapies for medical conditions are restricted in this fashion. Therefore, efforts to address the political and philosophical opposition to opioid agonist treatment are needed to meet the global needs to prevent HIV transmission."
Marginalization and Stigmatization of Addiction Contribute to Undertreatment: "The marginalization of medical care for opioid dependence and the stigma attached to this diagnosis and methadone maintenance treatment play an important role in untreated opioid dependence. Current federal regulations restrict the care of opioid-dependent patients to federally licensed narcotic treatment programs (NTPs) with little to no involvement by community-based physicians.
"Three primary scenarios characterize current reports of methadone-associated mortality:
"1. In the context of legitimate patient care, methadone accumulates to harmful serum levels during the first few days of treatment for addiction or pain (that is, the induction period before methadone steady state is achieved or tolerance develops).
"2. Illicitly obtained methadone is used by some individuals who have diminished or no tolerance to opioids and who may use excessive and/or repetitive doses in an attempt to achieve euphoric effects.
"Methadone's half-life is approximately 24 hours and leads to a long duration of action and once-a-day dosing. This feature, coupled with its slow onset of action, blunts its euphoric effect, making it unattractive as a principal drug of abuse."
Methadone Maintenance And Opioid Substitution Treatment (MMT and OST) Have Highest Probability Of Effectiveness: "Of the various treatments available, Methadone Maintenance Treatment, combined with attention to medical, psychiatric and socioeconomic issues, as well as drug counseling, has the highest probability of being effective."
NIH Consensus Statement on Methadone and Opioid Substitution Treatment: "Prolonged oral treatment with this medicine [methadone] diminishes and often eliminates opiate use, reduces transmission of many infections, including HIV and hepatitis B and C, and reduces criminal activity."
Safety And Effectiveness Of Methadone And Opioid Substitution Treatment: "The safety and efficacy of narcotic agonist (methadone) maintenance treatment has been unequivocally established."