Sentences to ponder

From a meta-analysis on retention in medication assisted treatment:

Notably, only a single study examined retention for longer than one year, even though the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends a minimum of one year in methadone maintenance treatment for best outcomes.73 Indeed, despite extensive and prolonged use of methadone to treat heroin addiction since the mid-1960s, little is known about its effects over the long-term.

You should ask, “What medication was used in the study where they looked at outcomes for longer than a year?” The “medication” they studied is heroin.

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2 responses to “Sentences to ponder

  1. Ed Dagnes

    Dear Jason:
    In my limited experience with supporting the recovery of heroin addicts, I read NIDA, SAMHSA, Science Today etc. I would like to read about your therapy experiences which form your opinion. Here you seem to question a public health statement from NIDA, with your understanding of a meta-study. Is that a pursuasive argument that opiate-replacement modalities do NOT have better outcomes than abstinence alone?

    • I have no interest in eliminating options. My only interest is in challenging the frequently made statement that MAT is the MOST effective treatment with the implication that other forms of treatment may approach malpractice.

      The info of on the effectiveness of MAT is much muddier than is generally presented. They often don’t report on the kinds of outcomes people care about and they often don’t report on a meaningful duration of care.