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OPIOID SUBSTITUTION THERAPY IN PRISONS: REVIEWING THE EVIDENCE

This document was prepared by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network 

A wealth of scientific evidence has shown that methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) is the most effective intervention available for the treatment of opiate dependence. MMT has been associated with reductions in risk behaviour, illicit drug use, criminal behaviour, participation in sex work, unemployment, mortality, and HIV transmission. Many of the concerns raised about MMT have been shown to be unfounded. In particular, MMT has not been shown to be an obstacle to the cessation of drug use, and in fact, MMT has been found to be more effective than detoxification programs in promoting retention in drug treatment programs and abstinence from illicit drug use.

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