To determine current methadone takeaway storage practice among patients receiving supervised methadone treatment and takeaway doses at community pharmacies.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2006 in Sydney, New South Wales. It addressed: safe storage of methadone takeaways; knowledge of risk of methadone ingestion by small children; and information provision from health care providers about the safe storage of methadone.
Eighty-seven patients participated in the survey. The majority stored their methadone takeaways in a cupboard (48%) or secure cabinet (34%). All but one participant were aware of the risks of methadone ingestion by small children. Eighty-seven per cent had discussed safe storage of takeaways with a health professional.
Most patients receiving methadone takeaways store them safely and are aware of the risk that methadone ingestion poses to children.
Clinicians should ensure patients are adequately informed about safe takeaway storage and the risk of methadone ingestion by children.