WHAT'S WRONG WITH "FOR PROFIT"?
An article in the Bangor (Maine) Daily News on 6 March is headline, ”Ellsworth eyes methadone moratorium.” It is disheartening to read the view attributed in the article to Sheriff Clark that methadone treatment is “just substituting one drug for another.” More than 40 years of consistent reports from around the world have documented the efficacy of methadone in the treatment of opiate dependence; it reduces crime, enhances productive and healthy living, benefits the general community and saves lives. It has been endorsed for decades by the US government, the World Health Organization and countless governmental, academic and clinical authorities.
The report states that the Sheriff also had “another problem,” the fact that many methadone providers are “for-profit operations.” Similar attacks on methadone facilities - especially those still in the proposal/application process - have been heard for decades across the United States. One can only respond: Welcome to America! We enjoy some of the very best health services anywhere, and of course the entire foundation – from insurance to providers of care – is overwhelmingly “for-profit.” Is it possible that the Sheriff and others who voice similar objections really have a problem with this defining characteristic of the American way?