Marginalization/Stigmatization of People Who Are Dependent on Opioids Contributes to Undertreatment
"The marginalization of medical care for opioid dependence and the stigma attached to this diagnosis and methadone maintenance treatment play an important role in untreated opioid dependence. Current federal regulations restrict the care of opioid-dependent patients to federally licensed narcotic treatment programs (NTPs) with little to no involvement by community-based physicians. Recent calls from federal and scientific bodies, including the Institute of Medicine, a National Institutes of Health consensus panel, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, have recommended restructuring the regulatory processes involved in the treatment of opioid-dependent patients, including increased involvement of primary care physicians."
Fiellin, David A., MD, Patrick G. O'Connor, MD, MPH, Marek Chawarski, PhD, Juliana P. Pakes, MEd, Michael V. Pantalon, PhD, and Richard S. Schottenfeld, MD, "Methadone Maintenance in Primary Care: A Randomized Controlled Trial," Journal of the American Medical Association (Chicago, IL: American Medical Association, Oct. 10, 2001), Vol. 286, No. 14, p. 1724.