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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 Our Voice: Methadone clinic is a welcome addition to Saginaw County community

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Number of posts : 863
Age : 46
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: Our Voice: Methadone clinic is a welcome addition to Saginaw County community    Fri May 13, 2011 3:58 pm

This comes from a Michigan newpaper editorial and the original link is

Our Voice: Methadone clinic is a welcome addition to Saginaw County community

Describe methadone treatment of opiate addicts as The Saginaw News did this month in our multipart series “Prescription for Addiction,” and you’re likely to get a roomful of puzzled faces, with some righteous indignation scattered throughout.
In a nutshell, methadone, often paid for with tax money, replaces illegal drug use with supervised, legal drug use.
Michigan in 2009 spent $6.5 million on methadone treatment and $3.25 million to $5.2 million on counseling for methadone patients.
As angry as that expense makes some taxpayers, we will take it any day over the much, much higher costs of illegal drug use — crime, death, disease, societal ills, broken families and shattered lives.
Discount all that suffering, and just look at the money: $3,500 a year for methadone treatment versus almost $30,000 a year to house a criminal addict in a state prison.
Methadone clinics are first and foremost intended to stabilize addicts’ lives in a safer way than finding a hit or a fix on a street corner. Some can even get on with their lives, hold a job and tend to their families.
For all of those reasons and more, Saginaw County’s first methadone clinic, which opened two years ago in Carrollton Township, is a welcome addition to our community.
The for-profit Victory Clinical Services’ arrival here at the urging of the Saginaw County Department of Community Health comes not a moment too soon.
Addiction to opiates in Michigan is rising fast. Decades ago, it was illicit heroin smuggled into the U.S. — with Saginaw as one hub of distribution — that drove much of the addiction to opiates. Now, it’s prescription drugs.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says 7 million Americans abuse prescription drugs — more than all heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens, Ecstasy and inhalants combined.
That represents an 80 percent increase in abuse of prescription opiates like OxyContin and Vicodin in the past 11 years, the DEA says. In Michigan, the state Department of Community Health says, the number of opiate addicts receiving state-subsidized methadone treatment rocketed from 8,758 people in 2000 to 19,806 last year.
So then, what are we as a society doing, feeding the beast of addiction with methadone clinics?
We are controlling it, with the hope that methadone clinics can wean addicts away from the drug. However, the rate of getting people clean from methadone is depressingly low. So it takes a distant second to the main goal of methadone clinics, which is to replace out-of-control illicit drug use and associated crime with controlled addiction and stabilized lives.
Methadone clinics are a comparatively low-buck hedge against the estimated $20 billion that unbridled addiction costs the nation in lost productivity, crime, prison, broken families and welfare.
In a perfect world, critics of replacing illicit drug use with addiction to methadone might be right — make all addicts go cold turkey and problem solved.
But this is an imperfect world full of both legal and illegal drugs, populated with people who have flaws of every flavor.
Stories of people lapsing back into addiction after kicking their habits are a dime a dozen in the realm of smokers, drinkers and opiate addicts.
The better solution would be to keep people from becoming addicted in the first place. For prescription drugs, that would mean better education for everyone on their use, personal responsibility not to abuse them and greater scrutiny of who’s prescribing them and who is getting the drugs.
In a year, the Carrollton clinic, which has 280 clients now, estimates it may hit its capacity of serving 400 people.
And then what do we do? Open another methadone clinic?
Without some solution soon to the rapidly increasing misuse of legal drugs, there may not be any other choice.
Methadone clinics work — they save lives and money — but against a rising tide of prescription drug abuse, they are like the little Dutch boy of legend, holding a finger in a leaky dike until more help arrives.

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
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