Home > All Posts > My rant for today…..

My rant for today…..

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-me-drugs18-2008may18,0,2949274.story?page=1

Every day in my inbox I receive GOOGLE ALERT after GOOGLE ALERT about the “rising tide of methadone deaths”…it never fails, in these articles, that methadone treatment clinics will be brought into the forefront of the article and therefore to the forefront of this epidemic and falsely linking them to the problem in peoples minds.

The stories always note that the amount of methadone prescribed for pain has increased about two hundred fold….and that Doctors mostly have NO IDEA how to prescribe it and patients have no idea how to take it.   These articles also note (as the link above shows) the rising tide of prescription opiate drug use and abuse-from rural Maine (where this epidemic started with the rise of OXYCONTIN) to the celebrity of hollywood (HEATH LEDGER) and back again.  They also usually state that our government has already done a lot of work to figure out how these deaths are happening and that methadone clinics are NOT the problem.  But the damage is done.  People read: methadone is bad.  They “know” addicts are bad.  These clinics actually have BOTH addicts and methadone….BOOM!  In the readers mind death and clinics are forever linked.

YES, methadone is handed out to the hugely growing number of opiate addicts addicted to prescription drugs and Heroin, but methadone treatment is a big part of the fix not the”broke”  The reporters writing these articles probably don’t even understand the implications  of doing this (the more pessimistic advocates like me believe they know exactly what they are doing, though)…….they probably don’t even realize that by mentioning the clinics in the middle of all these horrible stats about death of our young and the evil that is addiction,  they are irrevocably changing the way society looks at methadone treatment.  Even sadder still, is that these reporters don’t even realize that they are stigmatizing one of the only ways an opiate addict MAY find his way out of addiction hell.  These reporters probably also don’t even know that by bringing methadone treatment into an article about what is wrong with methadone, they are making sure that even fewer people who need it will benefit from what is truly REMARKABLE about methadone TREATMENT….and by doing that they are doing the exact opposite of their original intent: they are letting more people die from opioid overdoses.

Lets look at the plain FACTS…..We want to save lives right?  The people we are trying to save are mostly addicts that are abusing prescription drugs and heroin in an illicit and addictive way, right?  They are people who are so miserable without these drugs that life seems not worth living to them without them, right?  They are people who are so sick they can’t help themselves anymore and we need to help them help themselves RIGHT? OK then here comes the reality:  an opiate addict using illicitly has a 14 out 1000 chance of dying while actively using………that same opiate addict IN METHADONE TREATMENT reduces his chance of dying to 0.66 in 1000….it doesn’t matter the reasons why methadone works (there are many) what matters is IT DOES WORK.  The point of any medical treatment is to save lives and give back quality of life and methadone treatment hits those marks with flying colors.  It really doesn’t matter if you agree with methadone treatment or not, denying that it saves lives is like denying the earth is round despite satellite pictures of it from space.

The truth about methadone treatment is actually so basic, simple and straightforward that only a completely irrational person couldn’t “get it”… but these stories are borne of irrational fears…..and nothing about prejudice, stigma and ignorance IS rational, now is it?

KEH

ps: if your one of those holier than thou fools who think saving an addicts life is pointless because they are immoral, selfish or stupid-fine.  You shouldn’t really care about this debate one way or the other if thats the case…..and if thats the case I don’t even know why your bothering to read this so don’t leave a comment about it? I will just say that kharma is wonderful thing, and someday, somehow you WILL figure out why being an addict has nothing to do with the previously mentioned states of mind.

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  1. August 6, 2008 at 1:25 am

    Fran-if there is anyone up to the task it’s you!

  2. August 5, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    I am so happy that my insurance will now pay for suboxene subetex (sp) The letter came yesterday and now I am going to do some soul searching and see if I can handle it. My health makes me weak in body but not mind.

    FRAN/PA ARM
    SOUTH WESTERN DISTRICT

  3. armme
    July 24, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Thank you SM! It is so disappointing that today’s media is willing to send us out to the wolves to sell papers!

    I am really REALLY happy we have a reader on Suboxone.

  4. July 24, 2008 at 6:34 am

    I couldn’t agree more. I feel the same way about the reporters and others who write about Suboxone treatment for opiate addiction. The negative comments/posts/articles that are out “there” are scaring the hell out of those who seek treatment for their addiction.

    As an addict, I get crazy when I realize how many active addicts must be turned off by these writings. And Lord knows that an addict is going to look for any excuse NOT to get help if they are on the fence about stopping their using.

    I was fortunate enough to begin Suboxone 5 years ago, when there wasn’t much knowledge about its use for addiction treatment.

    Suboxone Mom

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