Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

To provide a better understanding of the very important role methadone plays in the treatment of addiction.
 
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 MediCal May Stop Paying for Methadone Treatment

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lilgirllost
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PostSubject: MediCal May Stop Paying for Methadone Treatment   Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:52 am


Here is another article reporting that the lawmakers are trying to change MMT laws in other states as well.

WE have GOT to start speaking up! People from HARMD were at these legislative meetings to give their two cents worth, we need to be there to speak out and show the positive effects of MMT. We have GOT to stop hiding away and being quiet, otherwise we will lose all the progress we have made with our addictions. Not to mention if we think clinic rules and regs are strict now, just wait till they all get done with us, we will be wishing it was like it use to be.

It is a craving so powerful that addicts will do almost anything to satisfy it.
For thousands of people hooked on heroin and other opiates, a daily swallow of methadone tames the demon and opens the door to a normal life.

But soon the synthetic narcotic, which for decades has been used as a controversial treatment for addiction, no longer may be an option for thousands of Californians.

As part of the effort to dig the state out of its massive budget hole, the Schwarzenegger administration has proposed cutting off Medi-Cal funding for "methadone maintenance" and other treatment programs to most addicts, saving the state $53 million.

Advocates who believe that methadone saves lives and lowers crime committed by society's most hard-core addicts are vigorously protesting the proposed cuts.

Today, former federal drug czar Barry McCaffrey and others will try to convince lawmakers that slashing the program would backfire on the state.

"Dumping tens of thousands of opiate addicts back on the street would be an immediate disaster to law enforcement, and to the families of people who have become stable, functioning adults" thanks to methadone, said McCaffrey, who has a consulting firm and serves on the board of directors of an organization that treats chemical dependency.

Dr. John McCarthy, a psychiatrist who has treated opiate addicts for more than three decades, estimated that about 2,000 people are enrolled in methadone maintenance programs in the Sacramento area, and 70 to 80 percent are Medi-Cal patients.

"This is very serious," he said of the proposed cuts. "There is obviously a lot of panic about what we are going to do" if benefits are slashed. "We might be able to cut back on the counseling component of treatment, but we have to find a way to preserve the medication for many patients who are very ill."

Thomas Hicklin, 59, a longtime addict who is stable on methadone, is one of those Medi-Cal patients. Hicklin, who has diabetes and hepatitis C, among other health problems, said he doubts he could afford $300 or more a month for methadone should the cuts take effect.

"It would be devastating to me, and a lot of other addicts who won't get the chance to have a normal life," he said.

The budget proposal calls for eliminating Medi-Cal funding for methadone treatment to everyone except pregnant women and minors. More than 35,000 Californians would be affected, opponents of the cuts estimate. The cuts, effective in October, would mean a loss of more than $60 million in federal funding, they said.

The proposed cuts "are not in any way a statement of the lack of importance" of drug treatment for addicts, said state Finance Department spokesman H.D. Palmer. "They are important. But we've got to focus on closing a $19.1 billion budget gap," and just about everything is on the table, he said.

Methadone is legally prescribed to addicts as a safer substitute for opiates, including heroin and OxyContin. Studies have shown that it helps curb cravings and withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, nausea and chills without producing an intense "high."

For some, like Amber Castorena, it can provide the control and serenity to lead a normal life.

Castorena, 38, said she lost her job, family and home during more than 20 years of serious drug addiction. She committed crimes to feed her heroin habit, she said. Her singular focus was getting her fix.

"It brings you to your knees," she said of heroin.

Castorena tried inpatient treatment programs, without success, she said. Within a month of starting on methadone more than three years ago, "I was off the streets," Castorena said. "I got my life, my kids, my family back. I do volunteer work, so I'm giving something to society instead of taking."

But methadone maintenance has its skeptics. Some question whether it is wise to allow addicts to substitute one narcotic for another, and believe patients would be better served by programs that focus on weaning them from all drugs.

"My professional opinion is that methadone is good for chronic pain and for detox, but maintenance needs scrutiny," said Dr. Eric Voth, chairman of the Institute on

Global Drug Policy.
"The greatest problem I have seen is that addicts shift back and forth from other street drugs to methadone, and nobody holds their feet to the fire to get straight," Voth said. "I think there needs to be rigorous supervision and expectations to accompany methadone's use."

Withdrawal from opiates, said McCarthy, can trigger potentially life-threatening physical and psychiatric symptoms. Addicts suddenly deprived of methadone likely will flood emergency rooms, and ultimately will be tempted to commit crimes or abandon their families to feed their cravings for the drug, he predicted.

Helen Camp, 28, who once was hooked on prescription opiates including Vicodin, said she became a different person when she was chasing her high.

"I had always been the responsible one," she said, but when she became addicted she stole from her family and nearly lost custody of her daughter. Her life is back on track, she said, now that she is in a methadone program.

"It scares me to death to think I might not be able to get it anymore," Camp said. "I don't want to go back to where I was before."
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/05/26/2776907/addicts-fear-methadone-therapy.html#ixzz0pc4KQ4RE


RuthAnn
aka lilgirllost

We are not bad people trying to become good, we are sick people trying to become well.

Methadone; A Flicker Of Light In The Dark
www.medicalassistedtreatment.org
www.suboxoneassistedtreatment.org
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you cannot afford to call us, send us an email and
we will call you at our expense.
Office: 1-770-334-3655~ Cell: 1-770-527-9119
Email: mrdeanv@aol.com
ALL INFORMATION IS KEPT STRICKLY CONFIDENTIAL


Last edited by lilgirllost on Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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floydfx05



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PostSubject: Re: MediCal May Stop Paying for Methadone Treatment   Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:56 pm

OMG This really scares me. What can we do to be heard??
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Happylady5



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PostSubject: What states wont pay?   Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:46 am

Do you know which states are try to dismantle the mmt programs? It really scares me that they're trying to cut the funding! I am very angry about this! I hope they realize that people need these programs. I am praying that they educate themselves and others about the lifechanging benifits of these methadone programs.
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lilgirllost
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Number of posts: 861
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Job/hobbies: COUPONING & GEOCACHING are my favorite past times but I also love reading and spending time with my husband and kids
Humor: I don't have a sense of humor.............
Registration date: 2009-05-25

PostSubject: Re: MediCal May Stop Paying for Methadone Treatment   Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:16 pm

So far the states that have the most drastic changes being proposed is California and Pennsylvania but in my opinion, if those states pass their laws it will only be a matter of time before other states follow suit.

As long as people who are against MMT are the only ones speaking out, they are the only ones being heard. We have got to start speaking out and telling our success stories to our lawmakers and those who have control in this situation.

It is hard to do when there is so much stigma associated with being on MMT but if we all start speaking out and sticking together maybe we can make a difference.

You can start by contacting your own state Reps and sending your success story to them letting them know that MMT does work. For that matter, even though you may not live in California or Pennsylvania you could still contact them and share you story and show your support for MMT pts in those states.

We have to do something or things are only going to get worse for us.


RuthAnn
aka lilgirllost

We are not bad people trying to become good, we are sick people trying to become well.

Methadone; A Flicker Of Light In The Dark
www.medicalassistedtreatment.org
www.suboxoneassistedtreatment.org
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you cannot afford to call us, send us an email and
we will call you at our expense.
Office: 1-770-334-3655~ Cell: 1-770-527-9119
Email: mrdeanv@aol.com
ALL INFORMATION IS KEPT STRICKLY CONFIDENTIAL
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Sammy



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PostSubject: Re: MediCal May Stop Paying for Methadone Treatment   Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:49 am

lilgirllost wrote:
So far the states that have the most drastic changes being proposed is California and Pennsylvania but in my opinion, if those states pass their laws it will only be a matter of time before other states follow suit.

As long as people who are against MMT are the only ones speaking out, they are the only ones being heard. We have got to start speaking out and telling our success stories to our lawmakers and those who have control in this situation.

It is hard to do when there is so much stigma associated with being on MMT but if we all start speaking out and sticking together maybe we can make a difference.

You can start by contacting your own state Reps and sending your success story to them letting them know that MMT does work. For that matter, even though you may not live in California or Pennsylvania you could still contact them and share you story and show your support for MMT pts in those states.

We have to do something or things are only going to get worse for us.

I live in PA, I have never heard of this, I mean at my Clinic they basically only take Medical Acess Card or Cash, and I know I can't afford that, My husband will be off the Methadone this friday, I'm on my way down , on 80mg's comming off 5 mg's a week
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Sammy



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PostSubject: I'm Back, And so Glad I need you all in my life!   Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:12 am

Hi Everyone
It's been awhile since I have come back to the forum, I have been busy, But I always thought of you all, and how everyone was doing, I am so Glad to be back, At this stage, My husband has come practically all the way off, Friday is his last dosing day of 2 1/2 Mg's, I am at 80mg's from 145 Mg's Coming down 5 a week is good for me, till I'm at a lower state, but I do have PA,Medical Access Card, My husband Did, But after he got his Social Security Disability, A few dollar's from being Eligible for him to remain on the Access card, I haven't Heard anything from my clinic in regards of no more Medical Coverage, that's basically all they take at my Clinic, Or Cash of course, But I can't and a lot of people cannot afford to pay cash, I just can't see them doing this, There will be too many problems also Addiction is a disease, like Diabetes, I have been on Methadone almost 4 yrs so I want to get off, I have other Health issue's like my panic attacks, so for me not "Having" to go to be dose, is good for my Panic Disorder, But I tell you what That Place Saved my life and my Family, I Have a beautiful Apt, and it's with Hudson I am in my Glory, I been Living here 3 1/2 year's and I have never been so Happy, Plus we have Great Security, which I love also, So my life has been stable, And After I am off the methadone,I will know to say no, because I don't ever want to be sick, nor unstable, Life has been great,I did loose both my Parents, n My husband lost his as well,But I believe in a higher Power, and that means so much that too will help me to stay sober, Is there a Petition we need to Sign to keep our Medical for the Methadone Clinic's? I want to Sign, or anything else I can do, Because This is what help me get my life back, anyway I am so Glad to be back at the Forum, I have missed you all, And Like to meet People, also, so if you wanna Chat log or just say Hi, I will be checking in Daily, you guy's are part of my Family and will always be , Even if I'm coming off of the methadone, You guy's still mean so much to me because you of all know about what we all have gone threw, as far as getting our lives back Smile Hugs to all Love Always Sammy.
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D
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PostSubject: Re: MediCal May Stop Paying for Methadone Treatment   Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:36 am



Hi Sammy,
As always, it is good to see you and know that you and your husband are doing well. The article above doesn't describe what is going on in PA but RuthAnn does have that article posted. Here is the link so that you can check it out when you have some time. http://methadone.forumotion.net/announcements-events-and-breaking-news-f1/senators-unveil-bipartisan-methadone-accountability-package-t513.htm

Unfortunately there are a lot of clinics that are on a cash only basis, some take insurance and few are based on a sliding fee scale but mainly it is a cash situation.
It used to be that clinics would let you charge a day or so at a time, but those are few as well. People started to take advantage of a good situation and before too long the charging situation was stopped at most clinics. All it takes is one or two of the bad to ruin it for the good.
Anyway, it is good to see you back.
Best Wishes,
Dee


"I will let yesterday end so that today can begin"



Never take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider
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boogy.pc



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PostSubject: Re: MediCal May Stop Paying for Methadone Treatment   Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:41 pm

The only ones that can do anything about any of this is the ones of us that are on MMT.We cant sit around an wait till its to late.We have to be vocal about the progress it has done to your recovery,family life,an your jobs as well.If any of you can lead me in the right direction i will stand up.Im in florida,so get me some names an numbers an i will.I cant wait till its to llate.My life depends on my recovery.Ive been doing so good at my job and it scares me to death to even think of what would happen if i lost the progrm. So everybody stand up an lets fight this together where we might be.
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