Monday, March 10, 2008


A seemingly positive story about “methadone clinics treating hundreds around area,” in the Mar 9 Cumberland (W. Va.) Times-News, includes no community attacks, no claims of problems in or around the clinics, and thus would seem welcome news. Unfortunately, the story on balance is probably going to reinforce the stigma against patients and the treatment in an area generally, and ironically the negative vibes emanate from those who run these clinics.

One administrator acknowledges that “addiction is a lifelong disease,” but also states that “what we have here is a methadone-to-abstinence program.” Worse, he claims that there’s an 80% “success rate for people enrolled in maintenance drug-based program more than 11 months. Typically, after 12 months of treatment, patients use the next six months for detoxification” followed by “counseling for six months.” The figures would be radically different from those of every study published in the past 40-plus years, and give the impression that the great majority of patients can discontinue methadone after a relatively short period of time. Ultimately even a positive spin is very harmful when it surrounds misinformation and cites outcomes that are unachievable.


At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy is that the truth, Dr N. What was this guy THINKING?


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