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MMT for clients who are homeless

Copyright © 2009 CAMH


Very little research has been completed on the special needs of methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) clients who are homeless. However, anecdotal evidence from professionals in the field indicates that outreach services are important in reaching these clients. The outreach strategies that seem most effective include clinics with more flexible hours and low-threshold methadone programs. As with other MMT clients, it is important to focus on homeless clients' basic living needs, such as:

  • housing resources, income support, counselling, medical care and mental health services
  • access to showers, clothing and food
  • a needle exchange program and education on reducing harm through safer needle practices.

Homeless clients should not be given carries because they lack a safe place to store medications and, as a result, having carries may put themselves and others at risk.