1- Their lives have been stabilized after they've been on methadone maintenance treatment and have shown abstinence from drug use for more than a year.
2- The decision to stop taking methadone is made with their doctor, who gradually decreases the dose while providing support. The rate of decrease may be different depending on each patient's needs and preferance, but is generally no faster than 5-10% once a week.
3-They've made changes in their lives that show they're stable. For example, they may have a stable family life, support from the non-drug-using community, steady satisfying employment and fewer financial or legal difficulties.It is important to understand that methadone, when taken as prescribed, is a safe and effective medication that individuals can take for years. Sometimes people stay on methadone as long as they need to and some patients have chosen to stay on methadone for life. Whether short-term or long-term, research has shown that methadone maintenance is the most effective treatment for opioid dependence.