The Buttery’s Maintenance to Abstinence (MTA) Program, is for those people who wish to withdraw from an opiate maintenance program (Subutex or Suboxone ) to pursue an abstinence-based lifestyle. The MTA Program is modelled on the therapeutic community; it provides a safe, medium term residential program allowing residents to reduce and adjust to an abstinence-based lifestyle over a three month period.

Participation in the MTA Program will provide opportunities for personal change, the acquisition of living skills and the coping skills to deal with life without drugs or alcohol. For MTA residents who wish to extend their time in treatment there will be an opportunity to participate in the abstinence-based therapeutic community once the reduction is complete.

The Buttery MTA program has a stringent set of eligibility requirements. All potential residents will need to meet these in order to access the MTA rehab program. These are outlined below:


1. The applicant has a problematic drug using history of over two years.

2. The applicant must be currently stable on an opioid maintenance program.

3. The applicant is 20 years of age or older.

4. The applicant is not facing legal proceedings for which his/her stay at The Buttery or application to come to The Buttery will be used as a mitigating factor in Court proceedings.

5. Owing to staffing constraints and the demands of the program we cannot accept people who have major psychiatric problems.

6. We do not have the facilities to cater for couples or single parents with children.

7. The applicant must be in receipt of a Centrelink benefit or be able to self-fund an equivalent amount of money.


Prior to admission, potential residents will need to transfer to Subutex or Suboxone (Buprenorphine), if they are not already maintained on such, in consultation with their current Prescriber and begin a personalised reduction regime in consultation with Buttery staff.

There are generally two ways in which this process of transition from Methadone to Buprenorphine is completed. These are referred to as High or Low dose transfers.

High Dose Transfer – This is recommended to be completed in a medical setting (detox facility) once a participant has reduced to a methadone dose between 60mg – 80mg. It is not generally recommended that transfers are attempted on doses higher than 80mg and will unlikely be supported by a prescriber. Most prescribers would also advocate for a dose of less than 70mg before commencing the detox process.

Low Dose Transfer – This can be completed either “at home” or through a detox facility and is usually undertaken when a participant is stabilized on a methadone dose of 40mg or less.

It is important to note that both processes require the participant to go through a period of time without their methadone dose in order to precipitate withdrawal. This timeframe could be anywhere between 36 and 72 hours after the last dose of methadone and will vary from individual to individual. It is very important that the participant work closely with their prescribing doctor to manage this transition in order for them to achieve the optimal holding dose of buprenorphine in a timely manner.

For people interested in joining the program phone 02 6687 1111

The Buttery's MTA Team 2019

Pictured: The Buttery’s MTA team

There is detailed information about The Buttery’s residential Therapeutic Community program on this web site.


The MTA Residential Therapeutic Community is co-located on The Buttery’s Binna Burra campus with The Buttery Therapeutic Community.

Residents live-in and the program takes place in a restored Queenslander house. It is comfortable, home-like accommodation in a tranquil sub-tropical garden setting.


PHONE: 02 6687 1111
02 6687 1039

Give us a brief outline of what you need help with and we’ll contact you as soon as possible during business hours. Please include your phone number in the message if you’d like someone to call you.

The Buttery acknowledges the support of the NSW Ministry of Health for the Maintenance to Abstinence Program.