PERCEPTIONS OF METHADONE TREATMENT FROM AN IRISH GP:
In the Irish Medical Times, 9/9/09, a GP, Dr. Cathal O’Sullivan, notes the absurdity of the officially recommended Irish urine toxicology schedule – "at least once weekly" for a total annual cost of approximately $US 10 million.
Some of Dr. O'Sullivan's other observations:
“Relatively new to the drug treatment world, I was struck by the difference in the relationship between the patients and the treatment service and the staff, including doctors, who were treating them. Supervised collection of urine samples seemed to me, at the very least, an undignified process, both for the patient and the person supervising the sample collection. Even the language used around urinalysis was different. Positive opiate tests were called ‘dirty’, negative were ‘clean’. One can still hear doctors working in the addiction service today, referring to a patient, say, ‘he’s dirty this week’. Raised a strict Freudian, I found this very strange (but very interesting).”
Most significant is his summation: “Compared to patients in general practice, where I had worked for the previous twenty years, drug users were seen and treated as a completely different category of customer. They were considered to be inherently untrustworthy, and incapable of telling the truth about their drug use.”
The same must be said of methadone treatment in the US and many other countries.
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