Interim Methadone with Limited Counseling for 4 Months Yields Similar 12-Month Outcomes as Methadone with Standard Counseling
Interim methadone (IM) provides 4 months of methadone and emergency-only counseling to opioid-dependent patients. This article reports 12-month results from a randomized clinical trial that previously found counseling intensity had no effect on outcomes at 4 months (see Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Health: Current Evidence, May-June 2011). Newly admitted participants (N=230) in 2 methadone programs in Baltimore, MD, were randomized to 1 of 3 conditions: IM for 4 months then transfer to standard methadone (SM), including routine counseling, for 8 months; 12 months of SM; or 12 months of restored methadone (RM), including routine counseling delivered by counselors with smaller caseloads.
- Treatment retention was similar between the IM (61%), SM (55%), and RM (37%) groups at 12 months in an intent-to-treat analysis.
- Positive urine-toxicology screens for opioids or cocaine declined from baseline for the entire sample, with no differences found between groups.