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Older Adults Prescribed Methadone: A Review of the Literature Across the Life Span from Opiate Initiation to Methadone Maintenance Treatment

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Professionals currently working with methadone patients are facing challenges with the rise of polydrug use, HIV and Hepatitis epidemics, and treating a large volume of individuals who are older than ever before, presenting for the first time in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. There have been two literature reviews conducted on this older population, but they can only provide a snap-shot view on the later stage of life of this unique group. A longitudinal literature review of the long-term opiate abuser who has transitioned into opiate replacement therapy will provide depth and illustrate the complexity of interrelated factors that have been affected throughout their life span. This paper reviews the literature conducted on opiate addicts from their earlier stages of substance use to older adulthood where many have chosen to enter into a methadone maintenance program. The paper will also take a biopsychosocial approach when reviewing the literature because of how these three domains are deeply affected and interrelated with this population.
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Keywords: Life span; literature review; methadone maintenance therapy; older adults

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2014

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  • Current Drug Abuse Reviews aims to publish the highest quality reviews, meta-analyses and drug clinical trial studies on all latest advances on alcohol and drug abuse and addiction.

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