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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Knowledge and Attitudes About Methadone Maintenance Among Staff Working in a Therapeutic Community

  • Author(s): Andrews, Siara, PsyD
  • Sorensen, James L., PhD
  • Guydish, Joseph R, PhD
  • Delucchi, Kevin, PhD
  • Greenberg, Brian, PhD
  • et al.

Research demonstrates that drug treatment staff members’ knowledge and attitudes about methadone are positively correlated with treatment success among opiate-dependent clients. However, the bulk of this research is on outpatient treatment in methadone clinics. This study examined a residential treatment program that allowed clients on methadone, a rare treatment opportunity that is growing nationwide. Staff (N=87) working in four therapeutic community (TC) facilities, were surveyed using the Abstinence Orientation Scale (AOS), Methadone Knowledge Scale (MKS), and Disapproval of Drug Use Scale (DDU). The relationships between TC staff characteristics and scores on the assessment measures were tested for differences. Staff members who affirmed having been in treatment had greater methadone knowledge than those who had not. Staff members who participated in methadone sensitivity training had greater methadone knowledge and lower abstinence orientation than those who did not attend the training. Staff in this study had stronger abstinence orientation than found in studies of methadone clinic staff, which may represent a barrier to methadone in residential settings. This study suggests that staff experience is correlated with attitudes and knowledge about methadone and that staff training is associated with changing attitudes and knowledge about methadone.

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