Methadone detoxification: Effects of methadone dose versus time in treatment

M. E. McCaul, M. L. Stitzer, G. E. Bigelow, I. A. Liebson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Outpatient methadone detoxification is a frequently used treatment modality for opiate dependence; unfortunately such detoxifications are generally unsuccessful. Clients typically drop out prior to treatment completion or relapse to illicit opiate use while still receiving methadone at the clinic. Treatment failures have generally been attributed to the dosing regimen used for detoxification. However, it is possible that outcome measures deteriorate over time because of the cyclic relapsing nature of drug abuse disorders. The present study attempted to dissociate methadone dose and time in treatment as contributing factors to detoxification treatment outcome. Three groups of subjects received different dose reduction protocols during a 6-week period in the detox. Illicit opiate and nonopiate drug use, clinic attendance and withdrawal symptomatology were assessed throughout the 13-week detoxification protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-274
Number of pages6
JournalNIDA Research Monograph Series
VolumeNO. 49
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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