Recovery-oriented Methadone Maintenance, part 2

Here Bill describes the devolution that troubled early advocates of MM:

The regulation and mass diffusion of MM in the 1970s and 1980s was accompanied by changes in treatment philosophy and clinical protocols. The most significant of these changes in terms of recovery orientation included a shift in emphasis from personal recovery to reduction of social harm; increased preoccupation with regulatory compliance; widening variation in the quality of MM programs; the reduction of average methadone doses to subtherapeutic levels; arbitrary limits on the length of MM treatment; pressure on patients to taper and end MM treatment; the erosion of ancillary medical, psychiatric, and social services; and a decreased emphasis on therapeutic alliance between MM staff and MM patients. The definition of recovery during this period shifted from a focus on global health and functioning to an almost exclusive preoccupation with abstinence—then defined as including cessation of methadone pharmacotherapy. The public face of MM became defined by the worst MM clinics and the least stabilized MM patients.

One thought on “Recovery-oriented Methadone Maintenance, part 2

  1. Well so far, plenty to please and little to anger. These quotes nicely sum up some of the concerns we are facing with MM in the UK. A large population style approach helps diminish crime and reduce public health problems, but seems to do less in terms of helping people achieve the goals they set for themselves in treatment (where these are recorded) and does not lead to consistent measurable changes in recovery outcomes. (Like employment, good parenting, happiness, education, citizenship etc).Okay, ready for the anger inducing bits Jason…


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