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J Subst Abuse Treat. 1986;3(3):203-9.

Medical services provided to 2,394 patients at methadone programs in three states.


The type and amount of medical services provided to 2,394 patients in methadone maintenance programs in three states was studied. Data were obtained from on-site confidential interviews with the entire treatment staff at seven programs. It was found that there were marked differences in the number and type of medical staff. Thus, there was ten times more coverage by physicians at some programs than others. In general, there were notable differences in the treatment staff available. Comparable variations among the programs were found with respect to the actual provision of medical services. Thus, the number of patients seen by the medical staff on a weekly basis varied from a high of 185 patients to a low of 36 patients. Similarly, the proportion of each program's patients receiving medical treatment per week varied from 53 to 14 percent. Reasons for those variations in medical services are considered.

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