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The federal government has put opioid treatment programs (OTPs) on notice that they must either be open seven days a week or make sure they have provisions for getting patients methadone who are not ready for take-home doses. But how this will be enforced is still unclear, and methadone programs are crying foul.
In a Jan. 24 "Dear Colleague" letter, H. Westley Clark, M.D., director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), said that treatment program medical directors must consider the eight criteria for take-home doses listed in the methadone regulations.
"Dear Colleague" letters are advisories sent by CSAT to methadone treatment programs. This letter was called a "restatement" of the rules, but it is more like a re-interpretation, according to treatment providers. The …