Home > Think more than twice before detoxifying from methadone.

Drug and Alcohol Findings. (2018) Think more than twice before detoxifying from methadone. London: Drug and Alcohol Findings. Effectiveness Bank additions (29 November 2018) 5 p.

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Defining dosing pattern characteristics of successful tapers following methadone maintenance treatment: results from a population-based retrospective cohort study.
Nosyk B., Sun H., Evans E. et al. Addiction: 2012, 107(9), p. 1621–1629.

Based on detailed treatment records kept by the Canadian province of British Columbia, a slow taper liberally interspersed with stabilisation periods offers the best chance of sustainably withdrawing from methadone without severe relapse, but still very few manage to avoid this risk – an argument for careful consideration and informed consent before making the attempt.

Key points from summary and commentary
• A slow taper of a year or more liberally interspersed with stabilisation periods seemed to offer the best chance of avoiding relapse over the next 18 months.
• Even then the great majority of taper attempts were followed by relapse, and overall fewer than 1 in 20 tapers ended in treatment exit and sustained remission.
• Reviews have found that while withdrawal severity can be ameliorated, very few patients complete the process of tapering (gradual dose reduction) methadone preparatory to treatment


Item Type:Evidence resource
Drug Type:Opioid
Intervention Type:AOD disorder, AOD disorder drug therapy, AOD disorder treatment method, AOD disorder harm reduction
Date:November 2018
Pages:5 p.
Publisher:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Corporate Creators:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Place of Publication:London
Number:29 November 2018
EndNote:View
Subjects:B Substances > Opioids (opiates) > Opioid product > Methadone
HJ Treatment method > Substance disorder treatment method
HJ Treatment method > Substance disorder treatment method > Substance disorder drug therapy
HJ Treatment method > Substance disorder treatment method > Substance replacement method (substitution) > Methadone maintenance
HJ Treatment method > Substance disorder treatment method > Detoxification method
HJ Treatment method > Treatment outcome
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Patient care management

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