Describing the Programme on Methadone Maintenance Therapy in Selangor, Malaysia

  •  Vengketeswara Rao    
  •  Nor Asiah Muhamad    
  •  Salmah Nordin    
  •  Ruziaton Hasim    
  •  Siti Nurhani Rafan    
  •  Hanisah Shafie    
  •  Anizah Muzaid    
  •  Vickneswari Ayadurai    
  •  Norni Abdullah    
  •  Norliza Chemi    
  •  Hazlin Mohamed    
  •  Noor Hasliza Hassan    
  •  Rimah Melati Ab Ghani    
  •  Khalid Ibrahim    


INTRODUCTION: Drug addiction and drug abuse is a serious public health problem worldwide. Millions of people worldwide suffered from drug use disorders, directly and indirectly, attributable to drug use and included deaths related to HIV and hepatitis C acquired through unsafe injecting practices. Many parts of the world have a shortfall in prevention and treatment for drug use disorders, with only less than 10% of people with drug use disorders receiving treatment yearly. Medication-assisted treatment of opioid dependence like Methadone is used in maintenance therapy or detoxification helps people with drug use disorders.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Secondary data from an existing electronic dataset in Ministry of Health (MOH) from 2015 until 2019, which includes registered patients who had undergone Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT) either government or private facilities were included. The dataset divided into few domains namely socio-demographic, treatment modalities, clinic location and history of infection.

RESULTS: A total of 37 various government and private facilities deliver MMT programme in the state of Selangor offered to a total of 5337 patients. The youngest patients were in the early twenties and oldest were in late seventies. The median age of patients was 45 years and the majority were males. Most of them were having secondary education (SPM holder) and below. Most of MMT programme takers were opioid drug users then followed by Amphetamine Type Stimulant (ATS) as the second most used. Among MMT programme takers, about 34.1% were reactive for Hepatitis C, 6.6% reactive for HIV, 4.2% reactive for Hepatitis B and 1.7% acquired tuberculosis infection. Almost 5% of MMT takers had passed away, which the three main causes of death were AIDS, alleged motor vehicle accident and septic shock. None of MMT takers was died due to methadone.

CONCLUSION: It is a great concern of the nation in combating drug-related problems due to the growing number of substance abusers. This review concluded that the MMT programme that widely available had shown a positive outcome by keeping lower mortality among MMT patients.

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