Wednesday, July 12, 2006


In the Bangor (Maine) Daily News of 18 May an article was headlined, "Methaodne treatment exacts too high a cost." No one could disagree with the statement that “even one methadone-related death is one too many.” It should be noted, however, that the tragedy in the particular case which prompted this story was most likely due to the inadequate availability of methadone treatment for opiate dependence, and not to its limitations. Reportedly the deceased woman had been desperately motivated to give up her addiction, which before she reached the age of 20 had progressed to intravenous use of heroin. “She tried to quit,” the story said, but even with the encouragement of her family her attempts failed. We are further told, “At one point she was on the waiting list at a methadone maintenance program, but she died before she could be enrolled.” The reporter's reasonable conclusion: the deceased “was probably trying to control her cravings by self-medicating.”

Clearly, nothing can possibly make up for this terrible loss of life or ease the grief that it has caused. But to save the lives of others it seems vital to ensure that “waiting lists” – for methadone as well as for any and all other forms of care for addiciton - be eliminated, and that those who want and need help in overcoming their dependence can get it promptly.


At 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say thanks for bringing up the methadone topic for discussion. I personally think it is important that individuals realize that methadone is really not a solution and potentially is creating a bigger problem for the addict in the long run. I know because I work with a treatment center and we have a lot of clients that have to spend weeks and weeks in detox just to get it out of their system before they actually get treatment.


Drug Rehab

At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not know if Dr. Newman will read this comment but first of all I want to give him best regards on my name and on those who suffer addiction over the world. I am psychopharmacologist and I used to say addiction expert, I have been reading in these days about Dr. Newman work , I agree fully with him that may be methadone is the best medicine we have to treat opioid addiction but I also think that may be methadone could be used to treat many others conditions related to addiction or psychiatric pathology with a neurobiological pain circuit substrate affected. Dra Lopez

At 8:44 AM, Blogger RGNewman, MD said...

Dear Dra. L - muchas gracias por su correspondencia. I appreciate your feedback. And yes, you are probably right - there must be a variety of additional conditions where methadone may be of use. Again, many thanks - may I ask what part of the world you are in? RNewman

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of corse you may. I am in Spain, teaching pharmacology at a medicine faculty. It is a long time I follow up Rockefeller Addiction Research investigation (Dra. Kreek and others) I feel like you all are doing a real good work which agrees with some addiction hypothesis I have. I appreciate very much your feedback. We keep in touch. Dra. Lopez

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Raymond said...

There are many reasons for Fatalities: And the lack of immediate Methadone treatment is just one precuror.

Methadone is a good medicine if used correctly and many agencies have proof of its ability to treat and maintain individuals with an addiction illness.

The problem arises after starting someone on treatment he/or she may run out of funding before completing the treatment. As is the case with low income individuals. Private, Medicaid, Medicare Insurance Companies always find ways to eliminate the funding.

Keeping in mind, You can't treat correctly with out proper funding.

So why start treatment if you are trying to find ways to eliminate the funding.

The roller coaster ride is what contributes to the dependency.

If someone had cancer would we treat him/or her for a week and then stop. And would we think that the cancer would just go away?

Either we help, fund or pay the the consequences of this dire disease. It is up to us to help make choices and prevent this disease from spreading.

Raymond Sanchez
Gramercy Park Medical Group, MMTP

At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was a hardcore iv drug user from the age of 13 to now .....age 46.the only thing that saved me was methadone maintainence.i have been clean now for about 8 years .i get 13 takehomes every two weeks and am living a normal healthy life for is the only thing that works for me.i have come so far thanks to this wonderful drug and a lot of counciling.

At 8:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how can anyone say they have been clean for 5 or 6 yrs and be taking methadone

At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just lost my only child, son 23 and methadone is suspected. There are so many people i have met that this drug has contrubuted to their deaths. Please get this drug better regulated. Im from NC and Methadone ranks No 1 in NC deaths. There will be a petition link on here soon for better regs, please see and sign. mary h

At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On June 24th 2006 I lost my fiancée (Ron) to this deadly drug prescribed by a physician with a combination of other medications that acted as additives to the Methadone. He had knee surgery and became addicted to the percocet he was prescribed. He checked hi mself into Greeleaf in Valdosta , GA for detoxification. Upon entering the facility he was drug tested and did not come up positive for opiates (he had stopped taking the percocet 4 days before entering the facility). On the fourth day in detox he died sometime between 2am and 1pm in the afternoon (he was never checked on in all of those hours).

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