Methadone use 'brings stability', study finds

The first-ever study in Ireland on long-term participants in methadone maintenance treatment has found that while it can bring some stability to users, more supports are needed to allow for social reintegration.

Methadone use 'brings stability', study finds

The first-ever study in Ireland on long-term participants in methadone maintenance treatment has found that while it can bring some stability to users, more supports are needed to allow for social reintegration.

The new report is published by the Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown Drug and Alcohol Taskforce and will be launched today by minister of state at the Department of Education and Skills, Mary Mitchell O’Connor.

Written by Paula Mayock, assistant professor at the School of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin, alongside Shane Butler and Daniel Hoey.

The research involved 25 people with drug use typically beginning during early adolescence before heroin entered the scene when they were 19.

According to the report: “The most commonly stated benefit was that methadone had brought stability and normality, thus improving participants’ ability to fulfil their roles as family members, parents and friends.”

However, there were also some references to methadone “only stalling the problem, not fixing it”. There were also some negatives associated with the clinic and its “culture”.

“Several did not feel able to discuss a dose reduction or detoxification plan, aspirations which they felt were strongly discouraged by their prescribing physicians,” it said.

In addition, 19 respondents said they had suffered depression.

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