METHADONE: A SHORTCUT FOR THE TREATMENT OF HEROIN ADDICTION?
Methadone is a long-acting narcotic which, given in sufficient doses, is reported to block the euphorigenic effects of heroin and other opiates. The drug has long been used in small doses or rapidly decreasing doses for withdrawal treatment of drug addicts. Only recently, prolonged, relatively highdosage maintenance on methadone has been medically attempted in order to keep people off heroin, as distinct from just getting them to break the habit of using it.1
The pioneering work with methadone as a maintenance drug was conducted by Dr. Vincent Dole and Dr. Marie Nyswander. The program was launched at Rockefeller University with a grant from the New York City Health Research Council and later continued at Beth Israel Medical Center under other grants. By mid-1972, methadone maintenance programs were operating in most of the major cities in the United States.____________________