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Subst Use Misuse. 2011;46(9):1190-8. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2011.561905. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Opiate users' perceived barriers against attending methadone maintenance therapy: a qualitative study in China.

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  • 1Semel Institute Center for Community Health, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA.


Methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) in China is facing challenges such as high relapse rates and low coverage. The study assessed factors influencing MMT utilization among opiate users. In-depth interviews were conducted among 30 opiate users in 2008 to ascertain the barriers against seeking MMT. Data were analyzed using ATLAS.ti. Barriers to the treatment included requirement of registration with police, perceived discrimination, logistic difficulties, side effects, fear of being addicted to another drug, lack of additional services, and economic burden. The result suggests the need for structural changes such as improving comprehensive services, simplifying application procedure, and enhancing referral system. The study's limitations are noted.

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