Home > Methadone: what's the story?

Uisce: Union for Improved Services Communication and Education. (2003) Methadone: what's the story? Dublin: UISCE.

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This report by the Union for Improved Services, Communication and Education (UÍSCE) was initiated to ascertain the views of drug users who are on methadone treatment. At present there are 6,885 people in the ERHA on methadone treatment and UÍSCE sought the views of users on the Methadone Protocol (introduced in 1998) and the change from physeptone to methadone DTF. This information was gleaned from focus groups held at Liberty Hall, Dublin and a brief questionnaire administered to service users. Of those surveyed, 88% felt that methadone DTF was not as effective as physeptone, leading to an increase in drug use and poly drug use. Some service users also felt that they were badly treated by chemists, GPs and clinic staff and felt that their methadone had reduced for little or no reason. The issues of urinalysis, privacy and powerlessness were also raised. The report makes several recommendations including allowing clients to choose the type of opiate substitute they feel is right for them and analysing the scientific effectiveness of methadone DTF.

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