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A programme of methadone maintenance plus moderate counselling services was cost effective
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Objective

To determine the cost effectiveness of 3 support levels in a methadone maintenance programme.

Design

Cost effectiveness analysis using data from a 24 week randomised controlled trial and 6 month follow up.

Setting

Methadone maintenance clinic of a Veterans Affairs hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Patients

100 patients who were admitted to a methadone maintenance clinic (mean age 43 y, 85% men, mean duration of heroin use 16 y). All patients completed a 6 month follow up period at the end of the 24 week trial.

Intervention

All patients received methadone, 60 to 90 mg/day, and were allocated to 3 support levels: minimum (methadone plus 1 counselling session/mo) (n=31); counselling plus methadone (methadone, 3 counselling sessions/wk, and behavioural interventions) …

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