Patient safety is the key consideration in responding to those who present for methadone administration while intoxicated due to opioids, alcohol or other drugs.

  • Patients should always be assessed by the person dispensing the dose (nurse or pharmacist) before the dose is given.

  • The assessment should ensure that the patient is not showing evidence of intoxication due to opioids, alcohol or other drugs. (See Appendix 2: Assessment of intoxication).

  • Patients who appear intoxicated with CNS depressant drugs should not be given their usual methadone dose or a takeaway dose at that time. The patient can be asked to re-present later when they are no longer intoxicated.

  • If intoxication is evident but appears mild the patient may be given a reduced dose but only after being reviewed by the prescriber.