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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 Methadone Benefits Compelling

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Number of posts : 863
Age : 45
Location : live in Louisiana but attend MMT clinic in Tx
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: Methadone Benefits Compelling   Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:55 pm

This comes from the London Free Press. It is an editorial put out by the staff in response to the many comments posted by the public to their article about a methadone clinic getting turned down by city officials. I want to applaud them for posting this in response to those ppl who are so misinformed about opiate addiction and methadone treatment.


The city is investigating zoning regulations for methadone clinics. As local agencies that serve individuals benefitting from methadone treatment, we are compelled to contribute to the community conversation about this issue.

From the dialogue we've overheard and the comments we've read, it appears there is much misinformation circulating about methadone and the benefits it offers individuals struggling with addiction.

Methadone is a legal synthetic opioid drug often prescribed as an effective treatment for those trying to conquer addiction to heroin and other narcotics. At a certain stage in their addiction, it is not the "high" that users seek from narcotics. It is avoidance of the discomfort of withdrawal that keeps them using. Methadone does not give the user a "high" as other narcotics do, but it does provide relief from withdrawal symptoms.

Methadone may also be prescribed as a chronic pain management tool for individuals who cannot get relief from other narcotics.

The city's planning documents refer to only one methadone clinic located in the east end of London. There are, in fact, at least four other methadone treatment clinics in London. Each clinic has a slightly different emphasis of care, a different clientele and a different way of managing the flow of patient care.

As the city considers planning restrictions on methadone clinics, it would benefit from reviewing the practices and locations of more than just London's most high-profile location. It is important to consider not only the locations about which complaints have been made, but also the locations where there are not.

Furthermore, there is confusion regarding the distinction between methadone treatment clinics and pharmacies that dispense methadone. The right for a pharmacy to dispense methadone is a provincial licensing issue, not a zoning issue. There are eight known pharmacies in London that dispense methadone with minimal impact on their neighbourhoods.

Beyond these considerations, the comments from city politicians and community members -- such as "the addicts are the ones who decided to go on the stuff in the first place" -- further stigmatize individuals trying to break free from their addictions. The source of their addiction isn't at issue here; their treatment is.

Furthermore, clients have not made a conscious choice to become addicted to narcotics or any other substance; this is a preposterous notion. It is often said in addiction treatment that the addiction chooses you, you do not choose it.

Methadone maintenance treatment is an essential component of addiction treatment in Ontario and other international jurisdictions.

There is hope and healing from addiction, and we see it every day. The lives of substance users should not be made any more difficult by misconception, misunderstanding and stigmatization.

In some cases, a prescription for methadone is a vehicle for becoming completely drug-free. The prescription assists the user to develop drug-free habits and a new lifestyle. Methadone affords an opportunity to become stable and begin to contribute to the community again. In these cases, the user of methadone might be weaned off the medication at a later point when triggers for relapse are less and their lifestyle is stable.

Other users of methadone may use their prescription for the rest of their lives, just as cholesterol or diabetes medication might be used. The medication allows a return to stable living and addiction is seen as being "in remission." Access to the right treatment in the right location is critical. Hospitals are not the only location where treatment should occur -- as has been proposed by a number of individuals in online comments to The London Free Press.

Across the health-care system, the trend is to move services out of the hospitals and locate them in community-based settings so that they are more easily accessible from our homes and places of employment. This should be the case for methadone treatment clinics as well.

Ontario has a full continuum of addiction care services available across the province. While there is a need for increased services to assist persons with addictions at an earlier point, there is excellent treatment available across Ontario and in London specifically. We are fortunate to have increased access to methadone.

Michelle Hurtubise, Linda Sibley

original link

aka lilgirllost

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

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