Predictors of methadone maintenance treatment utilization in a multisite cohort of illicit opioid users (OPICAN)

Benedikt Fischer, Michelle Firestone Cruz, Jayadeep Patra, Jürgen Rehm
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 2008, 34 (3): 340-6
Although methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) has been a primary treatment response to illicit opioid use in Canada for decades, analytical treatment data are scarce. Using data from the multisite OPICAN cohort of illicit opioid and other drug users repeatedly assessed between 2002 (baseline) and 2005 (last follow-up [FU]), we (1) longitudinally examined characteristics associated with MMT uptake between baseline and FU and (2) cross-sectionally compared drug use patterns between cohort participants in MMT (n = 133) and those not in MMT (n = 400) at the last FU through bivariate and multivariate analyses (stepwise logistic regression). Significant baseline predictors of MMT uptake emerging in the logistic regression model included injection drug, heroin, as well as alcohol use, housing status, and Quebec City as a site. Furthermore, lower prevalence levels of opioid (e.g., morphine and OxyContin) and nonopioid (e.g., cocaine and crack) drug use as well as lower frequency of heroin use days were observed among MMT users. This study highlights potential factors relevant for improved MMT uptake and illustrates possible reductions of drug use related to MMT.

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