Wednesday, March 22, 2006

IN GERMANY, FAVORABLE HEROIN TRIAL RESULTS, UNFORTUNATE AND UNWARRANTED COMPARISON TO METHADONE TREATMENT

Favorable results of the multi-year, seven-city pilot project that provided heroin to long-term opiate addicted individuals have led the city government of Frankfurt to overwhelmingly approve continuation of heroin maintenance, and to push for federal approval to legalize prescribing of heroin. What is unfortunate is that the pilot study chose as a “control” group subjects who were given methadone – even though, as required by the eligibility criteria, virtually all had failed to achieve positive outcomes with methadone maintenance in the past.

First, this amounts to testing one regimen whose outcomes are not known, to another that has a proven record of failure with the subjects studied. Secondly, virtually all those who volunteered to participate were surely motivated by the desire to obtain heroin, rather than the medication that had previously been ineffective. Whatever the groups randomly assigned to the two “arms” of the study may have had in common, their desire for and expectations of heroin as opposed to methadone could not have been more different. The results of the comparison were inevitable. Thus, the recent (March 11, 2006 – redaktion rhein-main) press report noted the success of heroin compared to methadone in improving drug use, health and social status.

So will there be immediate adverse consequences of the findings, as reported, of the German trial, stating that heroin is “more effective” than methadone? Hopefully not, but it will certainly lend support to those who already hold a strongly pejorative view of the latter in many countries of the world. .

2 Comments:

At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a sixty year old woman who has finally come to terms with myself including my addiction. I have a M.A. in Political Sociology with my area of interest being Socialist Feminism and Women and the State. I have been a heroin addict for 41 years and only NOW can I say that with pride. I WISH people like me ie long-term addicts who do not want methadone and do not want to stop using heroin could get it legally. I know what I want! I want heroin!! Many people who are long term addicts and are on methadone have started (while on methadone) to take crack. Me included. I do not believe this would have happened, to me or to others, if we had been able to get the drug we want. I also must mention here that there are many people who believe crack is a better choice than heroin!!! I know that if I was receiving legal, unadulterated heroin I could, given my overall health, live to be a hundred!! Come on! I am sixty!! When do I get the 'right' to choose a treatment (I hate 'treatment'. It is (for me) like people 'treating' homosexuality! It implies there is something that needs to be treated. I do not believe that.

 
At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was facing addiction and wanted to go to a wilderness treatment center. These guys are the best and the really know how to help a person grow.

 

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