Thursday, December 10, 2009

High-level Criticism of Methadone Maintenance as "An Easy Option" (UK):

A BBC headline reads, “Prisoners' heroin addiction treatment 'undermined'; heroin addiction is being tackled using methadone as a substitute. The story attributes to “former drugs czar” Mike Trace the view that “prisoners were being prescribed the addictive heroin substitute methadone instead of being encouraged to get drug free“. It quotes Mr. Trace as follows: "When they (inmates) see the healthcare professionals they are offered, sometimes the only choice they are offered, is a prescription of some type, which means their motivation to try to remain drug-free can be undermined.”

Mr. Trace’s criticism is echoed by shadow home secretary Dominic Grieve, whom the article quotes as stating, “ … what is happening is that effectively the prison service has become content in doling out methadone as an alternative to tackling the underlying problems these people have - it's quite wrong."

One must wonder about the evidence that is the basis for this criticism against methadone treatment – criticism that, of course, applies no more and no less to the prison environment than to the general community. Regardless of setting, relapse to opiate use is the overwhelming rule rather than the exception once abstinence is achieved, regardless what types of services are – and are not – available.

(check out the original story online by clicking here


At 9:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bob

Just ran across THIS very interesting piece in the same Google News Alert:

Kerry Wolf

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Hermon mihranian said...

The methadone maintenance treatment does in no way solve the opiate addiction.It will support the addiction status. The addict will never try to ben drug free.
Dr.Hermon Mihranian

At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many i.e. Dr Mihranian write of methadone not solving the opiate addiction and therefore feel it should be abolished. May I ask what then would SOLVE this problem and any number of conditions for which there is no cure? Addicted people do not one day accept the reality they are addicted and enter treatment the next day. Most have tried more schemes and programs than I care to think about,but please I for one am more than open to whatever you speak of that would in fact solve the addiction problem. Do you know something no one as yet has found that would allow us all to solve the addiction problem all together?

At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have any of you ever been in a methadone treatment program? Or do you simply think it ok to be an armchair physician criticising effective addiction therapy simply because you don't like the idea of it or how long it takes a patient to taper off the medication? If you you're not a doctor, scientist, chemist, pharmacist, or patient keep your uninformed, ignorant thoughts to yourself and don't concern with treatment that has saved the lives of millions.

At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Dr. Hermon fails to understand is that methadone maintainanance therapy is not meant to "solve the opiate addiction". By adhering to a strict dosing schedule, opiate addicts in MMT are able to leave behind the self destructive behavior and compulsive drug use that defines active drug addiction even though they themselves are still drug dependant. This demonstrates the difference between drug use as a medicine and drug abuse as a poison.


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