Substituting Methadone for Opioids Could Save Billions

November 22, 2017

(Reuters) – Policymakers and insurers have been pushing people addicted to opioids into abstinence-based detox programs, but a new study concludes that methadone and similar drug-maintenance treatments save lives and money. If the nearly 47,000 Californians who began treatment for opioid-use disorder in 2014 had received immediate access to methadone or another opioid-agonist treatment – instead of first being forced to completely withdraw from opioids – the healthcare and criminal-justice systems would have saved $3.8 billion, researchers estimate.

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