Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

Principal Investigator

  • Ian Sheerin

Supported by the Health Research Council


A sample of IDUs on methadone maintenance has provided data on their history of drug use and criminal activity before they started methadone and also while they are on methadone. These participants reported a large reduction in the use of illicit drugs and in crime. Before they started methadone maintenance, the majority of IDUs reported committing crime on a regular basis to fund their drug habits. Criminal activities included drug dealing, property crime and prostitution. After an average 5 years on methadone, the majority of participants reported they had stopped criminal involvement. However, a significant minority reported continuing some crime.


Ian Sheerin, Terri Green, Douglas Sellman, Simon Adamson, and Daryle Deering. Reduction in crime by drug users on a methadone maintenance therapy programme in New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Journal 2004; 117 (1190): 492-501.

Back to top