Thursday, October 27, 2005


Congressman Mark Souder has introduced HR 3889 which has the mendacious title: "The Meth Epidemic Elimination Act." First, it's inflammatory scare-mongering to label methamphetamine use an"epidemic." More importantly, no law enforcement approach has ever eliminated illicit drug use - even the ultimately draconian laws that (in countries like Malaysia, China, Indonesia, etc.) impose the death sentence for trafficking. Souder's bill doesn't go so far as to demand that offenders be killed by the State, but it comes close: a ten year minimum sentence for cases involving even possession (as opposed to sale) of 5 grams of methamphetamine. To put it into perspective, 5 grams is less than one and a half packets of sugar! What a cruel, viscious, inhumane, counter-productive measure - one that obviously aims at getting votes and that its sponsor surely knows is a fraud. Shame, shame on him!

To see the status and full text of the bill, go to: .

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

US IS THE BIGGEST (and the worstest!) ..When it Comes to Caging its Citizens in Cells

A new high has been recorded following the latest 2% increase - now 2.268 million US citizens reside in jail. Black men in the prime of life are 6-7 times more likely to be behind bars than their "born equal" white countrymen. Furthermore, being incarcerated ain't going to be fun regardless - but can one imagine being locked up in facilities that, on average, operate at 40% over their "capacity"? And for what? What benefits to prisoners, their families or the general public - indeed, to anyone but to the guards, the prison corporations, their vendors and the politicians whose campaigns thrive on their political contributions?

What an inspiration to our new and old European allies! What a prospect for Iraqis when the American-led transition to freedom and democracy has been achieved.
(SOURCE: Agence France Presse)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

DOSAGE: Yet One More in the Endless List of Studies Showing Higher Methadone Maintenance Dosage Improves Outcome

Journal Addiction, vol. 100, 2005 (pp 1496-1509)
It is reported that "larger methadone doses . . .completely blocked the subjective effects of heroin... " The results are summarized as follows: "the results of this study show that larger doses of methadone are more effective in reducing heroin self-administration and suggest that the mechanism of this increased efficacy is by reduction of the positively reinforcing/euphoric effects of heroin (i.e., cross tolerance)." So what else is new…?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Formulations: theories vs. experience

Strictly from a pharmacological standpoint one might believe that a racemic mixture, half active and half ostensibly inactive, would have identical effect except that one needs twice the concentration of the racemate to procude equal results to the pure active form. For years most experts believed the "pure" form of methadone (almost exclusively used in Germany) was identical to the d/l form used in the rest of the word except it was twice as potent. But it is not so simple - a recent article in Dug Alc Dependence by Verthein and colleagues (2005, vol. 80) suggests there are differences, and withdrawal when switching from one form to the other - though the effects are of a transient nature only

Monday, October 17, 2005

A New Low in Attacks on Patients Receiving Methadone

The Sunday Mail (Queensland, Australia) on Sept., 25, 2005, had a piece headlined, "Addicts and kids a lethal mix." A patient receiving methadone allegedly gave methadone to her 6 year-old daughter, who died. The article limits the possible explanations for this tragedy as follows: either the methadone "was recklessly administered" or was given through "gross stupidity." In sum, it concludes the little girl "was undeniably dealt a dud hand when she wound up with an addict and methadone mush-head for a mother."

How shamefully irresponsible and unethical for a news reporter to draw such a conclusion - let alone articulate it in a way that damns in the most demeaning and hostile manner all those whose physicians prescribe methadone in the treatment of the chronic medical condition of opiate addiction. Ignorance and intolerance may explain why this story was written and published - but they are inexcusable, especially among members of the press.