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Eur Addict Res. 2012;18(3):149-52. doi: 10.1159/000336313. Epub 2012 Mar 6.

Long waiting period to enter methadone maintenance treatment: relation to patient characteristics and outcome.

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Dr. Miriam & Sheldon G. Adelson Clinic for Drug Abuse, Treatment & Research, Tel Aviv University Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel. einatp @


Methadone maintenance treatment is a chronic treatment for opiate addicts. After having reached full capacity, new admissions to our clinic were delayed (through a waiting list) for all but opiate addicts with HIV and pregnant women. We compared characteristics and outcomes between patients admitted without delay (1993-2002) and those admitted through a waiting list (2003-2009). All 704 patients admitted between June 1993 and June 2009 were followed up until June 2010. There were 470 patients in the early period and 234 in the late period (56 patients were admitted immediately and 178 after 1.1 ± 0.8 years of waiting). Predictors for 1-year retention in treatment (logistic regression model) were if a patient self-referred during the late period, on a waiting list. The waiting list patient group was characterized by older age and self-referral - two known independent predictors of better retention that were attributed to their superior retention rate.

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