Saturday, June 23, 2007


It's nice to see a personal response of support on behalf of a clinic under attack in the media. Although no patient/former patient ever has an obligation to put their name in the papers, this letter is admirable for its author's courage to stand up for the clinic that helped her with her addiction. Read the letter at

Thursday, June 21, 2007


a Baltimore Sun headline on 20 June summed up the problem succinctly: "A drug-war setback - Red tape, doctors say, cuts buprenorphine prescriptions" The article reports on barriers to providing buprenorphine, as perceived by 17 physicians in the Baltimore area who were surveyed. Of course, there are vastly more physicians for whom barriers are irrelevant for the simple reason that they never sought to obtain the "waiver" needed to be allowed to prescribe buprenorphine. All in all a depressing situation for those who had hoped that buprenorphine would help narrow the unconscionable gap between need for and availability of opiate-agonist maintenance treatment. Full story:,0,6881220.story?coll=bal-local-headlines

Monday, June 18, 2007

Counter-Intuitive and Counter-Productive Behavior in China & US:

There have been consistent reports of China's very ambitious harm reduction effort being undermined by lack of buy-in by the Security Department, which can and often does arrest clients of SEPs (syringe exchange programs) and methadone maintenance patients (e.g., Sullivan and Wu, "Rapid scale-up of harm reduction in China," Int J Drug Pol 18 (2007):118-128). But China's certainly not alone. In USA a study has documented that clients of legal SEPs in California had a 60% greater likelihood of arrest for "drug paraphernalia" possession than did clients of illegal exchange programs (Martinez et al, "The impact of legalizing syringe exchange programs on arrests . . . ", J Urb Health 84(3) (2007):423-435).

Monday, June 04, 2007


Under the headline, "Funding cut for drug abuse" the Flint (Michigan) Journal on May 15 reported that "money for some drug treatment - including methadone for heroin addiction - has run dry..." as A RESULT, Programs are being told to stop admissions, and to "cut short" care for those already enrolled.

It's clearly time to reconsider our priorities. Hundreds of billions in US taxpayers' dollars in our continuing counter-productive effort to bring peace and democracy to Iraq, but not enogh to provide life-saving treatment for those who desperately need and want it here at home. Every American pays the price for these policies.