Can you believe it is me? Since I have posted we have acquired many new members and for all of those who don't know who I am, I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Deborah Shrira and I am the CEO of Medical Assisted Treatment of America, Inc. and of Suboxone Assisted Treatment (http://www.SuboxoneAssistedTreatment.org ) and of course I am the one who created (http://www.MedicalAssistedTreatment.org ) and then went on to create and publish one for Suboxone. Yes, I had two other forums in the past but I made some mistakes with the people I hired and I had to close them down and start again.
Now, I am proud to say we finally have a dedicated group of people working and they basically have kept it all going while I took off and moved into my new house. Seriously, I had not taken hardly any days off since I started constructing the first website in 2004. It has been nonstop since then and I basically researched and did all the writing and pusblishing of both websites. I am not bragging but it was very difficult but it has been a pleasure to help all of you and I thank all of you who have joined with us and I truly hope you did enjoy the information I provided on addiction and methadone.
I have been on methadone now for seventeen years and I started in December 1993. I know for me it changed my life and gave me a second chance. My only regret is no one told me about it sooner and I tried one abstinent program after another and none of them worked for me. It changed my life and my career because I worked in a pharmacy and once I seen methadone was working for me, I wanted to shout it from the roof tops because I wanted people to know about it. It improved the quality of my life 100% and for those of you who know me, you have heard my story many times but the road has not always been easy for me.
I wanted to let people know there was help available and I wanted to educate the patients taking methadone because even though most of the "Opiate Treatment Programs" try they just don't have the time to answer all your questions and we all know most counselors can't possibly identify with all we are dealing with because it is impossible to learn it unless you have experienced it, am I right? I am not saying there aren't some excellent counselors but they are few and far between. I wanted to make sure you had a place to come to obtain answers to your questions and to understand more about the medication you are taking. It wasn't just to educate you but to educate the public because many of you are not up-to-date on all you need to know about the medication but the public is really ignorant about methadone and this includes many of the physicians dispensing it. Can any of you say, right on? We all know they are very few well educated physicians on methadone and it's properties which are unlike most any other medication. I am glad they are finally passing laws to insure our physicians receive more education.
Jumping back to the present, as I said "Methadone can save your life if you take it correctly and don't abuse it, but if you abuse the medication it can kill you just as fast." When I first started taking methadone in December 1993, you rarely ever heard of any deaths taking place. Now, when I read the news it is basically all I hear now and I am now much more determined to make sure you can find all the knowledge you need to know on the new website I am building. I am hoping all of you will take the time to read all about the medication you are taking and if you have just started please, I beg of you start reading and know all you can about methadone and the medications you should avoid while using it. I doubt there is many of you who realize just how potent it is and it is not a drug you should play around with..There are too many people dying every day from it and we need to be educated about the drug we are using so we can share the knowledge with others and most of all with your children. If you have not made it a New Year's Resolution to know all about methadone and it's dangers then, it is time you put it on your list. OK? We don't want your children to get a hold of the medication nor do we want you over dosing on it because you didn't take the time to educate yourself about it.
Methadone is beginning to acquire a really bad reputation because of the many deaths and it really bothers me because it saved my life and improved the quality of it. I don't want to see it banned because we didn't take the time to educate ourselves nor our children about it. I am telling you if you are on methadone and you have children, you need to sit them down and talk to them about it. You need to be sure you keep it out of their reach because they are too many of them curious about it and no age is too young to start telling them. It is my goal for 2010 to finish up the new website I am constructing and I will include much more up-to-date information on methadone for you.
Yes, we are going to discuss what is happening in our "Opiate Treatment Programs." Many of you are aware of the injustice we encounter by many of the staff and what they require of us and I can tell you, I spent two days reading the e-mails sent by many of you telling me of your problems with your "Methadone Maintenance Treatment." I know it is bad for many of you and you want answers as to what you can do, if anything (?) It is really getting bad for many of us and believe me I do understand because I have dealt with my share of injustice, just as many of you have. I am well aware of what they can do to you and they can get away with it even if they are wrong and it really angers me but I am happy to see we have many new members here and it will be an honor too talk to you about what we can do...all of you need to read the Policy Manual they give you on "Intake." How many of you really take the time to read it? They are required to give you one and basically they make you sign stating you have read it and are responsible for knowing it. Each individual "Opiate Treatment Program" is different and you need to know about the one you are a patient at. I beg all of you to take the time to read it and ask any questions concerning the policies because it will be too late after you break one of their rules. I have discovered with many of you this is the first mistake you make. I'm not at criticising you for I don't believe I took the time to read the first one given to me through but it has got to the point we need to make sure we are aware of what we are getting into before we sign up.
Enough of this but I just wanted to let you know we will be trying to construct you a more up-to-date website and we will be available to help you resolve some of the complaints you are having with your programs and Step 1 is to make sure you understand the Policy Manual, Federal and State Regulations and what your rights are. Many of the "Opiate Treatment Programs" are abusing our rights and what do you think is the reason for it? I can tell you because of the many deaths but we know most of the methadone being diverted is not coming from us, but don't doubt there are patients diverting it and if you are one of them, I don't want to know about it! If you know people are diverting it, then you need to report them because they are making it much harder on us and it is affecting our dose increases and how many take-homes we can obtain. I am sorry because I don't particular care for snitches but it is time to speak out. I am sharing how I feel because they are making everything much harder on us but you need to listen to your own conscience and do what you think is right..Don't ever do anything I suggest unless you have examined your own heart and believe it is the right approach to take.
I just want to take the time to welcome all of you and feel free to e-mail me if you would like because I am accessible to all of you. If you are having problems where you attend and feel like you need help, then I do want to hear from you. I am hoping all of you who are having problems with your "Opiate Treatment Program" will make sure you go (http://www.MedicalAssistedTreatment.org/277599/index.html )
and report it on "Rate Your Program?" I am getting ready to take all the complaints down and send them to the right source. You do have the remainder of the week to tell us about your program and what you don't like about it. Please be sure you include the name of the program and where it is located. You don't have to include your name unless you want them to contact you about your complaint. I will be turning them over to my Contact and He will look at them and contact them if you have included sufficent information and you have a legitimate complaint. It's up to you now ...if you want people to know ..it is time to speak up and document it. You will not be called unless you specifically asked to be contacted. I would not leave your phone number but an e-mail address they can notify you at.
I did want to get this in and to remind you I have been absent because we were blessed with a new house and I have a wonderful new "Opiate Treatment Program" and believe me, last year at this time I didn't believe I would ever have either of them. God has been very good to me this year and I want to thank Him and all of you for joining and I want to personally thank Dee and Ruth Ann and all of you who have made this forum successful. Keep up the good work! 2010 is going to be a year for changes...It is time we get our life is order and ready for a battle.
Most all of us know how difficult it is to locate work. Gas is expensive and if you have been to the grocery store then you know how much food has gone up..Please talk to me and let me know how many of you are unemployed and looking for work? We do care and have applied for Grants. I have been trying to help all the people I could and I can't pay everyone but I am telling you, it is not the time to be aloneand without friends. If you are having financial problems then you did to let people know and give them a chance to help you.
I started all of this because we all need friends and all of us need help from time to time and no man is an island, nor is a woman.(Ha!) How about each of you trying to help each other, surely some of you have something you can offer to others if it is nothing but your time. I can tell you it works because I have given of my time to educate others and to help all of you I could and in doing so it did help me forget about my own troubles but finally God blessed me with a brand new house and now I have a office to work in and I have the best employees working with me since I started.
You really need to take the time to thank them because both of them have worked and donated much of their time without asking for any money simply because they wanted to give back and God did bless me with money to pay them some along but certainly not what they were worth by no means. Ruth Ann Alston has been your Moderator and I can say she has been very dependable and she gave it her all even though she worked on another job and I can tell you she has had her share of problems but she never gave up...and God did meet some of her needs at Christmas and I wish it could have been much more because she deserved it but I promise you Ruth Ann, your reward is coming. Thank you for volunteering your time.. (Delores Black) has been assisting Ruth Ann and fulfiiling all the other obligations and if it had not been for her expertise I couldn't have taken the time off I needed and I did need a vacation from all of it and she ran things for two months while I was away. Thank you both and Beth and Barbara and all who gave me a helping hand.