Date of Paper

5-2014

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Rajean P. Moone

Abstract

Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) was introduced into the United States in the 1960s to counter the surge of heroin addiction. Since then, MMT’s effectiveness in combating heroin addiction and weaning people off methadone itself continues to be questioned. This study examined the psychosocial impact of methadone as a harm reduction approach on individuals that have embraced the program. In this study, the structure and operations of methadone clinics, the differences between methadone and other pharmacological treatments for opioid dependence, as well as the stigma associated with the program were examined. Qualitative semi-structured interviews with Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors, an addiction medicine physician, and social workers with extensive experience in the area of MMT were conducted for data analysis and interpretation of facts. Findings from this research reveal that despite the stigma and controversies surrounding methadone maintenance treatment, it is still considered the most effective treatment for opioid addiction. Therefore, these findings will provide useful information about methadone to the general public; and equip clinical social workers the basic knowledge needed in working with clients on the MMT program.

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