Background. Until recently, the availability of methadone treatment in Ontario, Canada was limited. In 1996, policy changes
Methods. For these census data, descriptive statistics were used to examine changes in the patient and provider populations over time using data from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario Methadone Maintenance Registry of Patients and the Registry of Methadone Prescribing Physicians.
Results. Between 1996 and 2001, the total number of clients in treatment increased substantially from: 1595 to 7787. Over this time period, the number of physicians prescribing methadone increased from 60 to 161.
Interpretation. Policy changes resulted in substantial increases in the patient and provider populations across Ontario. However, the estimated low proportion of opiate users in treatment indicates that more efforts are needed to address the potential demand for treatment.