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A stabilization period. The patient remains on the lowest effective dose for an indefinite amount of time, to suppress signs and symptoms of the disease of addiction. This allows the patient to prepare and make the necessary changes that would otherwise make long-term addiction remission unlikely.

The federal government has a legal definition of maintenance treatment as it applies to federal laws concerning opioid addiction treatment.- "The term "maintenance treatment" means the dispensing, for a period in excess of twenty-one days, of a narcotic drug in the treatment of an individual for dependence upon heroin or other morphine-like drugs."

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