Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Twice within the past week community leaders who clearly should know better have revealed their ignorance of addiction and its treatment, and their strong – indeed, venomous - personal bias against patients receiving methadone maintenance. A South Boston representative, who sits on the Legislature’s Committee on Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Brian Wallace, was quoted in he Spt. 8 Boston Herald as saying, “Methadone scares the hell out of me. . . . [Patients] think it’s going to help them get better and it doesn’t. They become methadone junkies.” On the other side of the world a former Scottish Solicitor General (whose initial claim to fame was getting Beatle Paul McCartney off on a cannabis charge), buttressed his call for heroin maintenance by saying, “. . . methadone is just as bad as heroin, except it can tend to create methadone zombies” (Daily Record, Scotland, 14 Sept). After 40 years the hostility towards methadone and the lack of knowledge that breed that hostility is as bad as ever. What are we doing wrong?


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