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 Re: location of Methadone Clinics

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Number of posts : 2207
Age : 60
Humor : Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. -Christopher Reeve
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: location of Methadone Clinics   Tue 21 Sep 2010, 12:22 am

The following News Article is centered around Methadone Clinics. But in my own opinion it has some good information for addicts that choose to take Suboxone as well as Methadone to help manage addiction.
With that said, read on..

Re: Location of methadone clinics:

It would be unfortunate if a therapy program for a particular human disease is singled out as a threat to the community.

Lepers rang bells giving people a chance to scatter for fear of contracting leprosy. AIDS victims were barred from restaurants. People were afraid to shake their hands. Pregnant teens left town to have the baby and give it up.

Enlightened societies acknowledge the ignorance that influenced the decisions of the day regarding leprosy and AIDS and pregnancy out of wedlock.

Scientific communities recognize addiction as a life-long disease. The National Institute on Drug Abuse stated that "People mistakenly view drug abuse and addiction as strictly a social problem and may characterize those who take drugs as morally weak.

"Stopping drug abuse is not simply a matter of will power."

When decisions at the legislative level are influenced by moral panic science becomes irrelevant.

Addiction involves chemical derangement of brain tissue like diabetes is associated with chemical derangement of the pancreas. Addiction is chronic and relapsing. It leads to compulsive drug seeking.

Our society accepts diseases like heart failure and diabetes as socially tolerable. Syphilis, herpes, addiction and depression are stifled.

Common co-morbidities with drug addiction are mood diseases like depression and bipolar disease. Winston Churchill suffered from depression and was addicted to alcohol. Margaret Trudeau battled bipolar disease and marijuana abuse. The following have been in treatment for drug addiction/abuse: Betty Ford, Robert Kennedy Jr., John Daly, Lindsay Lohan, Ted Kennedy, Chevy Chase, Johnny Cash and Mary Tyler Moore. Google "famous people and addictions" for a long list. Would you bar these people from your community?

A survey done by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in 2007 showed within the Erie St. Clair region, 29 per cent of teens in grades 7 to 12 are involved in opioid drug abuse. The average for the rest of Ontario is 22 per cent.

The majority in treatment are victims from the middle class -- physicians, lawyers, teachers, businessmen and trades people. Look closely into your family and you will find such victims.

It is a misconception that a drug addict is a derelict who lives on the streets. There are approximately 800 addicts in treatment (methadone) in Windsor; many more are not.

An active opioid user represents an annual loss to society of $45,000 due to his health needs, criminal activities, welfare benefits and loss of taxation revenues.

Addiction is associated with theft, robbery, violence, weapons acquisition, trafficking and smuggling. We have to fear those who are not in treatment -- not those who are in a controlled therapeutic program.

Gearing and Schweitzer in 1974 studied 17,550 methadone patients, and showed that 36 per cent were socially productive before methadone therapy. After two years of therapy, the number of socially productive addicts rose to 76 per cent. This study also revealed that the arrest rate per 100 person years dropped from 201 to 1.2.

Opioids cause victims to withdraw from society; they get into legal trouble; incarceration is common; they have no insight into cheating their loved ones out of money for buying opioids. It's difficult to reason with an addict.

Methadone is also an opioid. Why then is it used as a therapeutic tool? Aren't the addicts now switching one opioid for another? Isn't their addiction being fed by another opioid, methadone?

The answer:

- Methadone is an opioid that allows an addict to think clearly.

- Once the addict becomes stabilized on methadone, he becomes more interested in family, cessation of illegal activities, education, jobs, self-improvement, socializing with non-users, and reclaiming his or her sense of responsibility.

- As an opioid addict, he or she will be using some form of opioid no matter what. If stabilized on methadone, it allows them person to rejoin society, become productive, family-oriented and law-abiding.

- There is close supervision by trained doctors and pharmacists so there is a lesser chance of dying from illegal drugs.

There is approximately one death every day in Ontario from opioid abuse.If we single out methadone clinics as undesirable in a particular neighbourhood then we will be shooting ourselves in the foot.

Who will be treating the 29 per cent of opioid abusing kids from grades 7-12? If clinics are relegated to out of the way locations, will patients have the motivation to seek treatment? What will the addicts in your neighbourhood, in your family, do for proper diagnosis and treatment?

Dr. Frank Mohan MD, is a hospitalist at Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital.

© Copyright (c) The Windsor Star
By Dr. Frank Mohan, Special to The Windsor Star
Dr. Frank Mohan MD, is a hospitalist at Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital.


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