Does Stigma Play a Role as a Barrier to Methadone in Treating Pain?
That is the question posed by a recent article in Pain Physician (13:289-293, 2010), and not surprisingly, the answer is an emphatic "yes"! The authors note that "the most socially stigmatized patients are those treated with chronic methadone." While it "is an excellent drug" for pain management, "... the lack of depth of knowledge by pain care providers about the benefits of the medication and societal stigma still play a role as a barrier to treatment." Sadly, of course, precisely the same can be said about methadone in the care of opiate dependence - even after 45 years of consistent evidence of efficacy.