By Paula Maycock et al

The research aimed to examine client perspectives on mmT, with particular attention directed to the lived experience of methadone treatment, participants’ social relationships and their health and social care needs. To be eligible for participation in the study, service users had to be over the age of 18, have accessed drug treatment for the frst time at least 10 years prior to participating in the research and report at least one episode of opioid substitution treatment since they frst entered treatment.

Participants were recruited through contact with specialist addiction clinics, community and voluntary addiction services, primary care settings and a supported temporary accommodation service, all based in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown area. The research and, consequently, the recruitment process, was particularly focused on enlisting clients of specialist addiction services, individuals who would generally be expected to have less stability in their lives than those attending primary care settings.

The in-depth interview was used to explore a broad range of issues deemed relevant to understanding participants’ experiences of MMT. These included: drug use and drug treatment history; experiences of drug treatment; education and employment; housing; family and peer relationships; physical and mental health; perceived social and health care needs and participants’ perspectives on the future. To aid the construction of a detailed sample profle, a brief questionnaire was administered to record demographic and healthrelated data.