Obituary: PCSS-Methadone

The Physicians’ Clinical Support System for Methadone (PCSS-M) died a quiet and unnoticed death last November when its grant was not renewed. Initially, when the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launched the PCSS-M project for methadone mentoring, it was intended to bring the expertise of methadone treatment providers to opioid treatment programs (OTPs). The grant for the Physicians’ Clinical Support System for Methadone (PSCC-M) as well as PCSS-B (buprenorphine) went to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

OTPs were able to get telephone or e-mail responses from PCSS-M on issues such as initiating and titrating methadone, converting from other opioids, management of co-occurring conditions, and patient assessment and selection. In addition, physicians using methadone for the treatment of pain were able to access PCSS-M for clinical information and specific questions.

ASAM’s grant for PCSS-M and PCSS-B expired and was not renewed last fall. At the same time, PCSS-M was killed, and replaced by PCSS-Opioids. Both PCSS-B and the PCSS-Opioids went to the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) and its partners, the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Now if you want information about methadone, you are supposed to go to http://www.pcss-o.org/. But you’ll find more information about pain. Even SAMHSA didn’t publicize that it had made this change. We found a link to it on the SAMHSA Recovery Month website (http://www.pcssmethadone.org/). The link takes us to the Social Work Leadership Institute.

Not much of a gravestone.

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