Adapting methadone inductions to the fentanyl era

Megan Buresh, Shadi Nahvi, Scott Steiger, Zoe M. Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Since 2013, fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, which are significantly more potent than heroin, have been increasingly prevalent in the opioid drug supply. A need exists to adapt methadone dosing from opioid treatment programs (OTPs) in this era. Current methadone protocols at many clinics in the United States are based on expert consensus documents that were created prior to the introduction of fentanyl into the drug supply and are relatively conservative. To date, most OTP reform efforts have focused on relaxation of regulations for take-homes and have not addressed the need to adapt methadone induction schedules to be more rapid in the fentanyl era, as allowed by current regulations. Written by OTP and inpatient consult service addiction medicine physicians with expertise in OUD treatment from across the United States, the aims of the perspective piece are to: 1) highlight the need to improve OTP care by adapting methadone inductions to the fentanyl era, 2) cite emerging evidence for and examples of experiences of OTPs using more aggressive methadone inductions, and 3) call for research and updated guidelines on safety and best practices for methadone induction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108832
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Opioid treatment program (OTP)
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Treatment reform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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