New South Wales and Victoria have very different policies concerning ‘takeaway’ methadone (methadone consumed at home rather than on clinic or pharmacy premises). This three-year project, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, compared these two policy environments by interviewing methadone clients, dosing nurses, dispensing pharmacists, prescribing doctors and drug policy makers. It also investigated the social and cultural meanings given to takeaways by clients and workers, and the circumstances under which diversion of methadone to street sale takes place. The purpose of this study was to better understand the significance of takeaways to clients and workers, and to provide recommendations for future policy.
During 2006 all data collection was completed and data analysis and the writing up of results continued. Several refereed journal articles, a report and book on the study have been published.