Reasons for discharge from methadone maintenance for addicts at high risk of HIV infection or transmission

Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
C E GrellaA Hasson


This article reports on a methadone maintenance program that had the goal of retaining in treatment heroin addicts at high risk of HIV infection and/or transmission. Subjects were recruited from four-high-risk target groups and randomly assigned to either an enhanced or standard methadone maintenance group. The analysis examined predictors of any type of discharge, negative discharge, and circumstantial discharge. Discharge for any reason was more likely for younger individuals, sex industry workers, and high-risk sex partners. Legal supervision at intake and coercion into treatment reduced the probability of discharge for any reason. HIV-positive individuals were more likely to discharge for circumstantial reasons than negative reasons. The probability of circumstantial discharge was increased for males, individuals reporting suicidal ideation, and those scoring higher on an impulse expression scale. The likelihood of circumstantial discharge was decreased for individuals who reported more sources of legal income or who lived someone using illegal drugs. Participation in the enhanced treatment group appeared to reduce the probability of negative, compared with circumstantial, discharge. The findings should assist methadone tre...Continue Reading


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