Opiate-addicted parents in methadone treatment: long-term recovery, health, and family relationships

J Addict Dis. 2011 Jan;30(1):17-26. doi: 10.1080/10550887.2010.531670.


Few studies follow the lives of opiate-addicted parents. The authors examined a 12-year follow-up of 144 parents in methadone treatment and their 3- to 14-year-old children. Parent mortality was high. Among survivors, drug use and treatment, incarceration, residential and family disruptions, and health problems were common. Moderate and long-term recovery were associated with consistent methadone treatment, further education, employment, and fewer relationship disruptions. Earlier depression, deviant friends, and poor coping skills predicted continued drug problems. Thus, interventions should include treatment for depression and build skills for avoiding and refusing drugs, coping with stress, and maintaining recovery-supportive friendships.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Family Relations*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / complications
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Methadone / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Opiate Substitution Treatment / methods
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / complications
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / mortality
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Psychotherapy, Group / methods
  • Risk Factors


  • Methadone