Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 77, Issue 1, pp 96–102 | Cite as

Office-based methadone prescribing: Acceptance by inner-city practitioners in New York

  • Jennifer McNeely
  • Ernest DruckerEmail author
  • Diana Hartel
  • Ellen Tuchman
Original Articles: Various Topics


In the US, methadone maintenance is restricted by federal and state regulations to large specialized clinics that serve fewer than 20% of the heroin-dependent population. In Europe, Canada, and Australia, primary health care providers already are utilized widely as methadone prescribers. In preparation for a limited study of office-based methadone treatment in New York City, 71 providers from 11 sites were surveyed about their willingness to prescribes methadone in their office-based pratices. Of the 71, 85% had methadone-maintained patients who came to their practice for other care. One-third felt knowledgeable enough to prescribes methadone, and 66% said they would if given proper training and support (88% among AIDS care providers). Half expressed concern that they might be unable to meet the multiple needs of these patients. With additional training and ancillary support, the 47 providers willing to become methadone providers could serve, at 10–20 patients each, 470–940 patients, a population the size of 3–5 average methadone clinics.


Health Care Care Provider Health Care Provider Primary Health Care York City 
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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer McNeely
    • 1
  • Ernest Drucker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Diana Hartel
    • 1
  • Ellen Tuchman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Division of Public Health and Policy ResearchMontefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of MedicineBronx
  2. 2.Beth Israel Medical Center, Methadone Maintenance Treatment ProgramUSA

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