A 12-year follow-up of a Methadone Medical Maintenance program

Robert P. Schwartz, Robert K. Brooner, Ivan D. Montoya, Marian Currens, Michael Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Methadone Medical Maintenance (MDM) is an alternative for treatment of stable methadone maintained individuals. It involves a monthly physician's visit, at which methadone take-home doses are dispensed to last until the next appointment. The safety and efficacy of this treatment modality is currently under investigation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of MDM in a methadone program in Baltimore. A sample of 21 patients was enrolled in the study and followed for 12 years. They were evaluated once a month by a primary care physician affiliated with a methadone clinic who collected urine toxicology samples and dispensed the monthly methadone dose. The results showed that only 6 (28.6%) patients dropped out during the 12 years of the study. Twelve (0.5%) of 2,290 urine samples collected were positive for drugs. No methadone overdose or diversion was observed. Participants reported significant improvement in their quality of life. The results of this study support the safety and efficacy of medical maintenance of stable methadone maintained individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-299
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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