A drug recovery program in Cape Breton is facing some major challenges.

With the exception of emergency cases, no new clients have been accepted into the methadone program since last fall, despite a long list of people waiting for treatment.

In a memo to staff, Dr. Linda Courey, head of Addiction Services, says there have been problems with the program. About 800 people have been put on methadone maintenance over eight years, but few are leaving the program. There has been no cap on admissions.

Courey said staff feel overwhelmed, and many have left their jobs. Courey said Addiction Services is making changes to the program, adding staff and giving nurses more responsibilities. And, Courey said, it's hoped that more family phsycians will take over treatment of clients on methadone, once they've been stabilized.