Build on the success of the Waterbury Methadone Pilot Project. Using a medical maintenance approach, allow physicians to prescribe methadone in a medical office setting and dispense it through pharmacies to stable, working patients.

The Waterbury Methadone Pilot program demonstrated that functional status, drug use and the use of health, legal and social services were comparable between the patients in the medical maintenance treatment and the methadone clinic.

  • 90% of providers in the pilot were satisfied with treating patients, compared with 74% of clinic providers.
  • 73% of pilot patients felt the quality of care they received was excellent, compared with 13% of clinic patients.
  • 95% of providers in the pilot felt that they had a good or excellent rapport with the patient, compared with 83% of the providers in the clinic setting.

Methadone was created as a long-term treatment for heroin addiction.
Buprenorphine is an opioid mixed agonist-antagonist that has been shown to help reduce addiction to heroin and cocaine. Some physicians and patients prefer one drug over the other, however both have significant bodies of evidence to support their use.

Allowing physicians to prescribe methadone and buprenorphine would help to de-stigmatize these treatment options for heroin addiction.
Thus, normalizing them as any other prescription to treat a disease such as insulin for diabetes, HIV/AIDS medications, or medications used to treat mental illness.

Expansion of this program would allow methadone patients greater flexibility for treating their disease. With only 18 methadone clinics in the state, location alone forces some patients to travel a great distance. This impacts their ability to work, deal with their children’s schedules and address other aspects of their lives.

A key component of long-term recovery is staying away from the people and places that addicts connect with using drugs. Allowing people to receive treatment from their primary care physician removes them from the clinic setting and often, from the people they may have associated with during their addiction.

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