60 Minutes or Longer to Receive Life-Saving Medication?


Imagine what it would be like to spend an hour or more every day to receive a life-saving medication.

When COVID-19 hit, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issued guidance to ease restrictions on methadone dosing. This guidance provided an opportunity to remove the strict requirements of daily in-person clinic visits for people receiving methadone maintenance therapy (MMT). People could receive up to a month’s supply of take-home doses. However, we know that translating guidance into practice isn’t always a smooth process. Our Strength and Numbers team conducted a survey to describe changes in MMT treatment experiences among patients of several clinics in North Carolina. We found variation in take-home experiences at the clinic level, suggesting a need to explore the adoption of these SAMHSA guidelines in more detail.

This work was recently published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. Read the paper here.