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At one time, drug addiction was viewed as a failure of willpower or a flaw of moral character.  It was not recognized as a disease of the brain, in the same way that mental illnesses previously were not viewed as such. Medical authorities have now accepted drug addiction as a chronic, relapsing disorder that alters normal brain function, just as any other neurological or psychiatric illness. Its development and expression are influenced by genetic, biological, psychological, and environmental factors.  Outwardly, drug addiction is often characterized by impaired control over continued drug use, compulsive use despite harmful consequences, and or intolerable drug craving.

Addiction to opioid drugs of particularly insidious because the brain produces its own opioid substances (e.g.endorphins) that are vital for survival.  In effect, the the brain is tricked by external, short-acting opioid agents into responding as if they are biologically essential.  Once addiction sets in, brain chemistry becomes unbalanced, and the person becomes physically , emotionally, and mentally dysfunctional unless more opioid drug is regularly taken. Chronic opioid abuse causes physiologic derangement lasting months or years after the last drug-taking.episode.  So, even if opioid-abstinence is eventually achieved, relapses are common without ongoing therapy of some sort.

Many public officials and healthcare providers have expressed a strong bias favoring "drug-free" treatment and eschewing the use of any medications during recovery. However, such therapies for opioid addiction alone cannot stabilize the chemical upsets associated with addiction and return brain function to a more normal state.

The common stereotype depicts opioid-addicted persons as social misfits and outcasts; however such an addiction is common throughout all segments of society and in every community.  Widely available and affordable access to effective, community-based clinics providing methadone maintenance for the disorder provides a viable solution for helping to stem America's opioid-drug addiction crisis.   

Please read your Federal Regulations.  Please check your State Regulations as they may differ from Federal,in which case, the more stringent applies.    

 Federal Regulations 21CFR 291 --42CFR 8                                                            

Please click below to view the PDF File for the newest version of the Federal Regulations.

The following Accreditation Guidelines For Opiate Treatment Programs were updated July 2007.

We will be adding more up-to-date information on the the Accreditation Guidelines especially certain issues we receive many questions over. Check back often to see if they have been added.

Editor:  Deborah Shrira                  Updated:  8 February 2008

Asst. Editor: Dee Black                   Last Update: 10 November 2011