Professionals currently working with methadone patients are facing challenges with the rise of polydrug use,
HIV and Hepatitis epidemics, and treating a large volume of individuals who are older than ever before, presenting for the
first time in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. There have been two literature reviews conducted on this older population, but they
can only provide a snap-shot view on the later stage of life of this unique group. A longitudinal literature review of the
long-term opiate abuser who has transitioned into opiate replacement therapy will provide depth and illustrate the
complexity of interrelated factors that have been affected throughout their life span. This paper reviews the literature
conducted on opiate addicts from their earlier stages of substance use to older adulthood where many have chosen to enter
into a methadone maintenance program. The paper will also take a biopsychosocial approach when reviewing the
literature because of how these three domains are deeply affected and interrelated with this population.
Keywords: Life span, literature review, methadone maintenance therapy, older adults.
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