Supplementary methadone self administration among methadone maintenance clients

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6 Scopus citations


The present study derives from two related questions: (1) Can methadone dose alterations act as reinforcers? (2) Do methadone dose alterations affect symptomatology of methadone maintained clients? Twenty three clients were offered six opportunities to alter their own methadone dose on a single day by as much as ±20 mg. Dose increases were selected on the vast majority of occasions (94.3%). Thus, supplemental methadone did function as a reinforcer for these clients. There was little evidence that dose increases which clients chose had any appreciable subjective effects. Neither symptomatology self reports nor judgements of dosage adequacy were significantly altered following acute methadone dose increases. The amount of supplemental methadone which clients self-administered could not be predicted by demographic characteristics, by length of time enrolled in maintenance treatment, by type or amount of illicit supplementary drug use, or by adequacy judgements of stable methadone dose. However, dosage self-regulation may have predictive potential as a measure of degree of behavioral dependence on narcotic drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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