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Exploring the Daily Lives of People on Methadone Maintenance Treatment: An Occupational Perspective


  • Katrina Warren

    () (Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Graduate Program, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6G 1H1, Canada)

  • Suzanne Huot

    () (School of Occupational Therapy, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6G 1H1, Canada)

  • Lilian Magalhães

    () (School of Occupational Therapy, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6G 1H1, Canada)

  • Marilyn Evans

    () (School of Nursing, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6G 1H1, Canada)


A qualitative study was undertaken with five people on methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) to better understand their experiences and daily routines. Through an in-depth exploration of their everyday occupations, we sought to reveal the ongoing challenges and barriers they face to accessing treatment. The concept of occupation refers to ‘all that people need, want and are required to do’ but also extends further to encompass ‘how doing contributes to processes of being, becoming and belonging’ (Huot and Laliberte Rudman, 2015). This research employed a qualitative intrinsic case study methodology (Stake, 2005). Using an occupational perspective informed by a framework for occupational justice (Stadnyk et al., 2005), the participants’ narratives are presented according to four themes highlighting key aspects of their experiences: (a) descent into chaos; (b) MMT as a bridge to recovery from addiction; (c) a new normal daily life; and (d) hopes for moving forward. The findings illustrate how structural factors and contextual factors interact to create occupational injustices. Thus, MMT practices and policies should consider the occupational implications described in this article to enhance patients’ experiences and further support their recovery.

Suggested Citation

  • Katrina Warren & Suzanne Huot & Lilian Magalhães & Marilyn Evans, 2016. "Exploring the Daily Lives of People on Methadone Maintenance Treatment: An Occupational Perspective," Societies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(3), pages 1-14, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsoctx:v:6:y:2016:i:3:p:27-:d:77278

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Radcliffe, Polly & Stevens, Alex, 2008. "Are drug treatment services only for 'thieving junkie scumbags'? Drug users and the management of stigmatised identities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(7), pages 1065-1073, October.
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    More about this item


    activities of daily living; addiction; case study; methadone maintenance treatment (MMT); occupation; occupational science; qualitative; routine;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • P - Economic Systems
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General
    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions
    • P4 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics


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