Friday, September 09, 2005


It's an ill wind . . . There appears to be a lot of activity at the federal and state governmental levels, in conjunction with provider organizations and concerned individuals, to respond to the special needs of hurricane victims who in addition to all else have an opiate dependence - both those who have been receiving opiate agonist maintenance and those out of treatment. One can only hope this is being carefully monitored so we can learn from the experience. And if it turns out that those involved were indeed able to mobilize forces, waive constraining regulations, and get treatment promptly to large numbers in need - then perhaps it will prove a model for future responses to catastrophe. Furthermore, the steps today that effectively make treatment available to those who desperately need it in the affected Gulf states may perhaps be applied to the roughly 80% of opiate dependent Americans who currently have no access even in the best of times.


At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trying to tweak or patch the current system to make it remotely adequate to deal with crises such as Katrina seems a very unlikely outcome indeed....

Clearly this tragedy demonstrates the madness of the current US approach to maintenance, in which maintenance medications and maintenance patients are treated completely differently under the law than other citizens. When will we start to hear the cries of outrage from those affected and those who purport to advocate for them?? When will people realize that the centralized clinic monopoly inflates the cost of maintaining patients by more than 1000%?? When will the public notice that generalist physicians are denied the ability to care for this vastly under-served population?



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