METHADONE MAINTENANCE COMES TO CAMBODIA:
The glass remains 95% empty, and seems certain to leak badly! Cambodian government officials approved a long-delayed plan to open the first methadone treatment programme there, and it should be up and running "within months". The bad news: cost of the project, which will serve a maximum of 100 patients, is US$350,000 for one year, and will employ "a staff of more than 20 doctors, pharmacists, nurses, case managers and counsellors [who].. will have to be trained in an intensive six-week course." Under these circumstances, even the most spectacular success would seem to offer no prospect of significant expansion; indeed, success under these conditions might well be the definitive rationale for refusing to expand maintenance treatment at all. The donors, consultants, providers and officials involved undoubtedly have the very best intentions, but the rationale for this "pilot" is difficult for a far-removed outsider to understand. Click here for the full article.