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Methadone dosage changes pose ‘serious risk’ to road safety

Dr Alex Wodak, President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation, tells Chris Kenny changes to methadone prescriptions pose a serious risk to road users.

“[Methadone] is an opiate. If someone is on a stable dose of methadone they have no greater or lesser risk of a car crash than anyone else.

“If the dose is going up or down rapidly then there is an increased risk of a crash.”

Dr Wodak says the risk worsens when the driver is also under the influence of other drugs.

“If they’re taking alcohol and god knows what else, there’s a serious risk.”

Dr Wodak says medical staff should discuss and warn patients of their responsibilities and try to encourage them to be responsible.

“You can lead a horse to water… but you can’t monitor these people 24 hours a day seven days a week.”

Dr Wodak says the benefits of the methadone program outweigh the negatives.

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