New research on how people are treated for drug addiction shows the Northern Territory is the only jurisdiction to move away from methadone to a so-called "safer" alternative.
Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reveals that in 2009 about 70 per cent of patients being treated for addiction to drugs like heroin across Australia received methadone.
But in the Northern Territory, less than 40 per cent received the drug.
Sarah Gobbert from the Health Department says most patients received saboxone, which has a low street value and does not have a sedative effect.
It is a far, far safer medication to actually be using, interstate they have had a lot of clients who are on methadone for a very long time, so a lot of those would remain on methadone, she said.
Ms Gobbert says unlike methadone, saboxone does not have a sedative effect.
It still gives people that slightly 'out of it' feeling, not to a huge component, but some clients actually like that slight feeling, she said.
Whereas saboxone basically makes people feel exactly the same as you or I.
The number of people being treated for the condition in the territory peaked in 2005.
Sat May 29, 2010