Opinions

Marauding on methadone?

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While reading the comments below a story on the CBC website regarding location disputes for a methadone clinic, I could barely contain my laughter. The majority of commenters seem to have the idea in their head that a methadone clinic is the same thing as a safe-injection site and some even went so far as to label such clinics drug dealers. Honestly!

So what is the fuss? The Second Chance Recovery clinic was located downtown for six years before moving to a light industrial park on 41 Ave. N.E. a few months ago when its lease was up. However, the City is now requiring the clinic to move once again due to zoning restrictions. The clinic treats people trying to overcome opiate addictions, including heroin. Bill Leslie, who runs the clinic, told CTV reporters that the clinic serves approximately 500 people from all walks of life. Calgary has only one other methadone clinic, which is run by the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission and has a three-month waiting list. Obviously, there is a need for this second clinic to remain operational. The only problem is finding a location for it.

There has been talk of the clinic moving to Forest Lawn, but this has sparked sharp backlash from the community association, as has been the case with any community suggested as a possible location. Apparently, community members believe people who use the clinic are unsavoury types who they would prefer to keep out of their backyards and away from their children. There is fear that the recovering addicts (seen only as "addicts" or "druggies" by community members) will increase crime in the community and attract drug dealers and other criminals. This simply is not so.

Anyone who is using the clinic is doing so out of a desire to change their lives, to turn them around and make something positive of themselves. Why else would they seek such help?

"Next time you come to your car and some druggie has smashed a window for the change that fell out of your pocket you can think about how warm and comfy they are shooting up in drug treatment strategy," wrote one of the commenters below the CBC story. It is these kinds of misconceptions that make people want to avoid utilizing the services offered by recovery clinics such as Second Chance. The stigma of having to admit to addiction and being subsequently and mistakenly labelled as a threat to safety and security is not helpful, nor is the misperception of methadone clinics as "drug pushers."

Community members in Forest Lawn say that their neighbourhood is already stricken with enough crime, drugs and violence and this is the reason for not wanting a clinic whose mandate is to treat those unsavoury types. Do these people not realize that the point of this clinic is to decrease drug addiction in the city? If addicts already congregate in certain areas, does it not make sense to locate a clinic there? The point is, those making use of the clinic's services are not going to be smashing windows on their way to and from the clinic to find change for their next fix. They are going to the clinic to get their "fix" of methadone in an uphill battle to break the bonds of their addiction. They are not there to abduct children, vandalize property, steal or harm anyone. They are there to give themselves a second chance. So let's let them get on with it already.

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Comments

THANK YOU!! Finally someone who actually "gets" what methadone treatment is about. If only others would understand that these clinics help-not harm. I wish my town had a methadone clinic, my town needs one desperatly, but one will not open in such a small town. Anyway, thanks again for trying to spread the truth.

THANK YOU!! also, its great to finally have someone who is open minded and tells both sides of a story keep up the great work!

I found this article alarming for lack of knowledge on methadone at the present time.You are mistaken if you believe there is no criminal activity going on in or around at Methadone Clinics because I know of one patient that was just robbed in the last month of their methadone take home dosage while in the clinic before they could leave out the door.Methadone is now the number one opiate drug on the market killing innocent victims at an epidemic rate across the United States. Diversion is a huge part of the problem from Methadone and Pain Management Clinics while patients sell or give away their take home doses.This problem has aired on several major television networks showing this outrageous dangerous and deadly acts by the methadone patients. This can be easily viewed on YouTube at many different clinics that are open in broad daylight or before daybreak.Since methadone hit the market to be given as a painkiller several years back deaths have more than tripeled in America due to methadones unstable properties and those uneducated prescribing it such as Doctors, Dentist, Physician Assitance, Pain Management Clinics to name a few.Many organizations have been formed by citizens to legally bring about awareness, education and trying to save lives.My family and friends did not find any humor in your article or when we were told our 33 year old daughter had died from a 10 mg methadone pill that was prescribed for pain by a negligent doctor three years ago.

I am very sorry to hear the poster say they lost their daughter due to a negligent doctor. I am here though, to express my gratitude at not showing a one sided (negative) view about methadone maintenance.Yes there are groups that have banded together to spread only negative, and mostly false reports about methadone. The fact is, most of the black market methadone in the U.S. is coming from the so called pain clinics; NOT the drug treatment clinics. I am happily in drug treatment myself, and I'd rather saw off my leg than let anyone near my takehome dose.
I mean that sincerely. And you are correct, there is usually no more crime near a drug treatment clinic than any other place, and definitely there is not any crime occuring from MMT patients looking for a "fix" or "money for their methadone".....we either pay for it because we are now able to work, thanks to the methadone , or in some cases, are treatment is subsidized. We have no need to commit crime once stable on the methadone. That is the biggest fact the organized groups against methadone will twist around. They try to convince everyone that we are feeling "dopesick" each morning and are lurking around, desperately looking for money for a fix.
That is simply untrue and in fact, completely the opposite of the truth.
Methadone is very long acting and very stable medicine when used to prevent opiate cravings. We do not wake up sick. We do not drive impaired. We function, raise families, and work , just like anyone else. So it is very much appreciated to hear someone speak of "us" in a dignified way.
Thank you and God bless you.

I am old enough I can recall Methone Clinics opening across rhe United States and they have failed this country miserably. I have known people that have gone to them personally as well as Pain Mangement Clinics never being judgemental of their illness. I would never lie or twist my words based on my daughter's death or any organizations I belong to. Truth is Pharmecutical Company's and Doctor's have had a multi billion dollar industry going own for decades . The majority of Methadone Clinics are owned by Doctor's and anyone with any common sence knows methadone is in the news daily because of all the attention to the deaths it does not matter where it comes from. The Pro Methadone Advocates are panicing due to all the threats of their drug of choice being more regulated if not banned. They are so busy brainwashing each other into believing they aren't substituting one drug for another.You are not clean and sober as many of you like to claim with hundreds of milligrams in your system everyday. For the proud MMT you out right lied about the not driving impaired it is being investigated and reported all over the media from so many motor vehicle accidents, inguries and deaths. If there is nothing to hide invite these people into your own organizations while letting the public be the judge and see the confict among your own members. Let one of your members talk about getting off methadone and they become the enemy and have to seek help elsewhere.Please proud MMT I dare you to give your web sites for all to visit.The truth will set you free and it might save your life or someone you love.

You can tell who are the user's here. The only reason why people are starting to stand up against these clinics is because they are finally learning the truth. Methadone substitution is NOT the answer to addiction, it may be the answer for the addict to continue feeding their cravings and having a source that they can go to everyday but they are still using whether it is legal or not. With more clinics opening, this has led more families to see what this drug is doing to people and former user's are telling a different story then current user's. This article is nothing more then the average rhetoric posted by a user and/or clinical operator/owner, which both have something to gain. The addict gets the drug and the owners pocket the money, what a scam and often tax dollars are paying for this practice. Yes, people are seeing through this and want no part of it anymore. They no longer are going to listen to the excuses and ridiculous comparisons of people with other health issues. Fact is in the near future these practices will be re-evaluated and "CHANGE" is coming. Methadone clinics only enable addiction and encourage the patron to continue staying on drugs. This will soon end and new options are on the veiwing table as I write. More and more people of power are being convinced this can no longer continue. So I suggest you start detoxing now as methadone may get pretty hard to find.

Mothers Against Medical Abuse.Org

@MAMAcom:

"You can tell who are the user's here."

Is that so? That's quite the ignorant assumption you got goin' on there...

From your website:
"MAMA.ORG has a ZERO TOLERANCE for the use of this drug!! It does not matter how a victim consumed this drug, it is killing thousands yearly. "

Well, so it tobacco (45,000 per year in Canada, according to the graph on the front of my package). Though it's pretty difficult in any capacity to argue that methadone is a benign drug, I would be quite interested in statistics re: non-methadone drug overdose and addiction rates were your "ZERO TOLERANCE" ideal to come to fruition.

"Methadone substitution is NOT the answer to addiction, it may be the answer for the addict to continue feeding their cravings and having a source that they can go to everyday but they are still using whether it is legal or not."

Please back this statement up with any credible scientific medical literature. kthxbai.

To ñ∆ndrew, I do not post anything I can not back up so please feel confident I have done my homework, personally and not by just looking up some crap on the internet as the pro-
supporters tend to offer. Actually when our research began we had an open mind to clinical use for addiction but it did not take long to uncover the negligent and abusive behavior from both the user and the facility. User's are in a fantasy world to even think that Methadone consumed for years is being in treatment, that is ludicrous and the majority are no longer buying this BS, sorry but it is true. The credibility of the Pro-Methadone advocate is losing it's worth and trust. Slowly they have dug their own hole that is caving in as I write. As far as the ZERO TOLERANCE that comes from two years of scientific studies to include many sources, even autopsy reports. Your ignorance is limited to your knowledge which apparently has a short span of thought. You have a closed mind to learn anything except what you choose to learn. BREAKING NEWS, Methadone is not the WONDER drug and has become a tremendous thorn in the battle of addiction in this country.

Mothers Against Medical Abuse. Org

re: 2009-04-30 19:34:15

The churches at least base their dogma in scriptures that can be peer reviewed.

@MAMAorg

"please feel confident I have done my homework, personally and not by just looking up some crap on the internet as the pro-supporters tend to offer."

So... "Research" has now become "crap"? Interesting, how discussions can devolve. Please, clarify the extent of this "homework".

Also, I reissue my original challenge:

"Please back this statement up with any credible scientific medical literature. kthxbai."

-∆.

Methadone Diversion
A Changing Landscape

The misguided attack on diversion deaths from Methadone Maintenance Treatment for addiction is changing.

There has been an ongoing attack focused strongly on Methadone Medically Assisted Treatment. This has been coming from people who have lost loved ones due to an overdose of methadone usually along with other medications.
As the use of methadone for pain has greatly increased due to itsí very low cost and effectiveness some important facts slowly came into view.

Six factors contributed to the rise in deaths involving methadone for pain:
1) The failure to bring some patients slowly and safely up to their needed dose.
2) The pain patients taking too much medication against their prescription.
3) The sale or gifting of methadone by pain patients and itsí subsequent abuse.
4) The advent of the pain drug mills increasing the availability of methadone.
5) The deadly combination of other drugs such as alcohol and benzodiazepines.
6) The need for increasing public awareness of the way methadone works.
Others sources include the theft of methadone from patients, clinics, pharmacies and drug shipments.

As the number of overdoses and deaths became increasingly evident to the government, the Methadone label was changed and the directions for prescribing Methadone for pain have been evolving.

Slow upward titration following signs and symptoms of potential overdose is important in preventing pain patient deaths. Methadone clinics have known about this and have practiced this for many years.

Pain patients need to keep their medication safe from theft and potential child use. A medicine cabinet filled with any kind of opiate pain medication is a target if any addict finds himself as a guest and uses the bathroom. If the pain is temporary, it is often left in the cabinet instead of properly disposing of the remaining tablets. A pharmacy could include a note about returning unused medications for disposal.

Thus, by comparing the incidents of problems in medically assisted treatment methadone clinics before the advent of the Methadone for Pain bulge, and after the advent, one might deductively assume that most of the problems with overdoses were far greater from the Methadone for pain side than from the Methadone for addiction maintenance programs.

During this time, those who have lost loved ones have been learning that methadone for addiction works and have significantly lessened their heavy emphasis towards Methadone Medically Assisted Treatment and the government has made changes and warnings that hopefully will reduce the deaths due to pain medication prescribing.

These groups who lost loved ones have increased the public awareness of the dangers of methadone when taken improperly. More action is needed to reach those who may abuse methadone. Such work may be aided by more patient and clinic involvement in local public relations.

Our 33 year old daughter that I mentioned above that died from a negligent Doctor that prescribed her Methadone for pain had no other drugs in her system.These facts were confirmed by her autopsy and toxicolgy reports in April 2006.Pro Methadone Advocates like poster # 11 continue to blame family members, organizations and innocent victims that have been killed by Methadone. These deaths have more than tripeled in the last decade from negligence and diversion from this dangerous/ deadly drug. Many deaths occur in the first initial ten days of treatment at a Methadone Clinic. And yes Methadone that has been given in combination with other drugs certainly have led to thousands of deaths.The Pro Advocates might as well slap us in the face while spreading lies about our loved ones cause of death.This epidemic is in the news media throughout the world filled with arrest of legal dealers like Doctors along with the illegal dealers.Fact is addicts that go to clinics feel threathened their drug of choice is finally being more regulated and a real posibility it might be banned.There are Class Action Law Suits against those accountable for these deaths some have already won their cases and more filed everyday.Talking to Pro Methadone patients is like talking to a chemical.

#12: Please explain your logic.

You claim:
Not all innocent victims of methadone use are the same, so stop blaming all of them for their own victimization.

Yet you also claim:
All methadone clinics are the same, so please blame them for a long list of practices generating victims.

On what basis do you simultaneously claim support from two extremist but contradictory premises?

As #7 has requested, I'm sure you can explain and substantiate your argument with something other than presumed moral superiority.