A multicenter randomized evaluation of methadone medical maintenance

Van L. King, Kenneth B. Stoller, Michael Hayes, Annie Umbricht, Marian Currens, Michael S. Kidorf, James A. Carter, Robert Schwartz, Robert K. Brooner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Methadone medical maintenance (MMM) is a rational, cost-effective method to match treatment intensity to level of needed services. In the present study, 73 highly stable methadone maintenance patients were randomly assigned to either a routine methadone treatment, MMM - a once monthly reporting schedule - at the methadone maintenance program or MMM at a physician office. A 'stepped care' intensified treatment approach was used for patients who had drug-positive urine specimens or failed the medication recall procedure. Patients left two urine specimens for analysis each month (at least one on a random basis) and responded to one medication recall each month. Results are presented for the first 6 months of the 1-year trial. Only 1% of urine specimens were positive for illicit drugs, there was no evidence of methadone diversion and there were very low rates of medication misuse, with no between group differences. MMM patients initiated more new employment or family/social activities than the routine care patients. MMM patients were more satisfied with their treatment than the routine treatment patients, but all patients rated themselves satisfied or very satisfied with their treatment. Stepped care was well-tolerated and helped match patients to an appropriate intensity of service. The good outcomes observed with the present sample suggest that MMM can be implemented effectively as part of a continuum of care in clinic and office-based sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-148
Number of pages12
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


  • Medical maintenance
  • Methadone
  • Opioid dependence
  • Stepped care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'A multicenter randomized evaluation of methadone medical maintenance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this