The FDA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration have issued standards for interim methadone maintenance treatment for narcotic addicts. Interim methadone maintenance regulations permit a program to provide methadone, along with appropriate medical services, to patients awaiting transfer to a comprehensive methadone maintenance program that also includes counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and educational services and treatment plans. New legislation required regulations to establish conditions for interim methadone maintenance treatment. The new provisions represent an effort to stem the risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission among intravenous drug abusers who cannot be placed in comprehensive methadone treatment programs within 14 days of seeking admission.
Under the new rules, the FDA will authorize interim methadone treatment to be conducted by comprehensive methadone treatment programs that meet certain requirements and provisions, including the following: specific certification from a state's chief public health officer; providing counseling to patients on preventing exposure