What Treatments for the Heroin Addict?

Roger E. Meyer, MD
JAMA. 1986;256(4):511-512. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380040085035.
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Federal support for community-based drug abuse treatment services began 18 years ago. Prior to 1968, certain states provided services for heroin addicts, generally in locked inpatient settings, while the federal effort was concentrated in the two "narcotic farms" in Lexington, Ky, and Fort Worth, Tex. The introduction of methadone hydrochloride maintenance as an adjunct to the outpatient rehabilitation of heroin addicts1,2 led to a sense of optimism that ultimately gave concrete form to the drug abuse treatment initiatives begun in 1971 by a new White House agency, the Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention. In these days of prospective payment plans, diagnosis related groups (DRGs), and capitation models, it is of interest that the Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention in those times identified the costs of service within drug-free therapeutic communities and outpatient methadone hydrochloride maintenance facilities and offered reimbursement on a per capita basis. Since


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