The DEA lifted its 2007 ban on methadone clinics sending out mobile units to reach people in communities underserved by the clinics. But patients are required to take the methadone in the presence of clinic staff. A better solution is to let doctors prescribe take-home methadone, like they do in Canada, UK, Australia--and they were permitted to do as an emergency measure during the pandemic.
Like ACSH itself, ACSH advisor Dr. Jeffrey Singer is a proponent of harm reduction. Here's his take on a report, issued by the health and medicine panel of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), titled "Opportunities to Improve Opioid Use Disorder and Infectious Disease Services." Not surprisingly, Dr. Singer calls for needle exchange, methadone use, and the use of prescribing pre‐exposure HIV prophylaxis (PrEP) and post‐exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
With the opioid epidemic occupying center stage in media and political arenas, what's gone largely overlooked is that pediatric opioid-related hospitalizations, warranting the highest level of intensive care unit admission, doubled between 2004 and 2015.
The practice of treating heroin addicts with methadone is hardly new indeed it s been common practice among addiction specialists for almost fifty years now. It is not a perfect solution, but it works pretty well. And the alternative is far worse.