ATTACKING THE METHADONE LOBBY-SAME OLD STORY:
TimesOnline (UK) had a column Oct 3 attacking “the methadone lobby [that] has built a pharmaceutical holding pen that keeps addicts addicted” (http://www.timesonline.co.uk). Same old story: critics denounce clinicians and manufacturers of medicine because they do not cure conditions that – to date – are not curable, and that (surprise!) they make money giving treatment that falls short of cure. Treatment whose goals fall short of cure define the response to all chronic medical conditions.
This critic, like many others, cites surveys showing a majority of heroin addicts and methadone patients “want to stop all drug use.” Sure - how many diabetics would say they love the idea of having to inject insulin every day for the rest of their lives? And just as some diabetics can overcome the need for insulin, some narcotic dependent people can become and remain abstinent without need for further medication. But a great many more can’t – and they presumably would be simply abandoned if critics had their way.