A study of methadone in fatalities in the Strathclyde Region, 1991-1996

Med Sci Law. 1999 Jul;39(3):233-42. doi: 10.1177/002580249903900308.


There was a substantial increase in the percent of drug screens testing positive for methadone between 1991 and 1996 in the Strathclyde region of Scotland. Seventy-nine per cent (n = 136) of these deaths were drug-related, involving methadone either alone or in combination with other drugs such as diazepam, temazepam, alcohol and morphine. The involvement of methadone in the majority of these fatalities was due to diversion of legitimate supply. This paper highlights the dangers of resuming methadone consumption following a period of abstinence or when taken in combination with other drugs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methadone / blood
  • Methadone / poisoning*
  • Middle Aged
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / mortality*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / mortality


  • Methadone