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eeagle - 10/16/2013 3:14:11 PM
Methadones Role in Substance Abuse Treatment Today
Question: What role is methadone playing in substance abouse treatment these days?

Answer: For a summary of the current status of methadone in substance abuse treatment, SAMHSA published "Emerging Issues in use of Methadone" available at the following link:

eeagle - 10/16/2013 3:16:26 PM
RE:Methadones Role in Substance Abuse Treatment Today

It is illegal for a psychiatrist to prescribe methadone for opioid addiction treatment. Methadone for opioid addiction is never prescribed, but rather it is dispesnsed at certified and federally regulated opioid treatment programs. However, methadone may be prescribed for pain by liscensed qualified medical professionals. Increasingly research shows that a substantial portion of the rise in overdose deaths from methadone are among those using it for pain management. Since it leaves the system very slowly, overdose is often associate with medication interactions .

~Niki Miller

niki.miller - 10/16/2013 9:58:56 PM
RE:Methadone Overdoses Increase due to use in Pain Manangement
For those interested in published research on the context of rising methadone overdose fatalities, the quote below is from FAQ's compiled by the Forum for State Health Policy Leadership, National Conference of State Legislatures ( Gelber, 2008)

"Deaths from opiates have increased as sales have escalated, largely due to their increasing use in pain management. Deaths from methadone alone have shadowed its use as a pain prescription, rather than as an opiate treatment medication (Paulozzi and Budnitz, 2006)."

eeagle - 10/23/2013 3:44:19 PM
RE:Methadones Role in Substance Abuse Treatment Today
According to CDC:

Prescription painkiller overdoses were responsible for more than 15,500 deaths in 2009. While all prescription painkillers have contributed to an increase in overdose deaths over the last decade, methadone has played a central role in the epidemic. More than 30% of prescription painkiller deaths involve methadone, even though only 2% of painkiller prescriptions are for this drug. Six times as many people died of methadone overdoses in 2009 than a decade before.
Methadone has been used safely and effectively to treat drug addiction for decades. It has been prescribed increasingly as a painkiller because it is a generic drug that can provide long-lasting pain relief. But as methadone’s use for pain has increased, so has nonmedical use of the drug and the number of overdoses.

* "Prescription painkiller overdoses" refers to deaths from using harmful amounts of opioid or narcotic pain relievers, including drugs such as Vicodin (hydrocodone), OxyContin (oxycodone), Opana (oxymorphone), and methadone.

~Andy Klein