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Rapid access to methadone improved entry and outcomes in heroin addicts awaiting methadone treatment

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 Q In people waiting to enter a community-based methadone maintenance treatment programme, does rapid access interim methadone maintenance with minimal additional services increase the likelihood that patients enter the methadone treatment programme and reduce drug use and criminal behaviour?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ Psychiatry ★★★★★★☆


Embedded ImageDesign:

randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:


Embedded ImageFollow up period:

up to 120 days.

Embedded ImageSetting:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Embedded ImageParticipants:

319 participants (mean age 41 y, 59% men, 93% African American) who met DSM-IV criteria for current heroin dependence for ⩾1 year. Exclusion criteria included pregnancy and an acute medical or psychiatric illness.

Embedded ImageIntervention:

methadone, 20 mg/day increased by 5 mg/day, to a mean dose of 78 mg/day (n = 199); or usual waiting list condition (n = 120). Participants who were assigned to …

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  • * See glossary.

  • For correspondence: Dr R P Schwartz, Friends Research Institute, Inc, Baltimore, MD, USA. rschwartz{at}

  • Source of funding: National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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