Sunday, September 7, 2008

More truths About Methadone

From an actual clean and sober addict comes this important email. Please read it and understand how evil this sham is.

Hello,
I did quite a bit of research into the history of methadone programs and I found some interesting stuff.
The first methadone "maintenance" program in the world started in Vancouver in 1963. Prior to this there were other programs for methadone "withdrawal" programs already in operation in other countries but no maintenance programs, some say the first was in New York, but my research shows the first was most likely here.
Good old doc Halliday (Dr. Robert Halliday) from Vancouver applied to Ottawa and received the okay to start a methadone withdrawal program in Vancouver, the first in Canada in 1959-60. True to the roots of harm reduction, he applied to Ottawa to change the program from a "withdrawal" program to a "maintenance" program within a year of getting the withdrawal program up and running.
It seems that once the good doctor had his foot in the door with the approval from Health Canada for his withdrawal program , he immediately started to push for the envelope for change to a maintenance program, which took abstinece as the priority, out of the concept. Harm reductions been alive here for a long time. eh, half a century now.
I know from personal experience, that years ago, if an addict on the program tested dirty for other drugs they were removed from the program after a couple fo dirty tests, now I ahve learned that after every screw up they just give them more methadone, they think the problem is just not enough methadone. It has morphed into one of the worst of all harm reduction initiatives and it is more liberally applied here than almost anywhere else.
From a clean and sober heroin addicts perpective, it is the wost of all drugs. Coming off heroin is like a mild to mid range flu for 4-5 days, coming off methadone is excruciating pain for up to a month in most cases, even walking is very painful, the only thing to cause the pain to dimish is lots of hot baths. Methadone gets in the bones and detox is the worst of any drug, if you will notice how crippled and broken and hunched over addicts are on the DTES, they are mostly the ones who have been on methadone for years.
Now we see if the paper what I have known for years, but you get the watered down story, girls have told me about sexual favours for methadone and guys fencing hot good for there methadone, it is an evil empire, that harm reduction, junkie industry. 54 million is just for the drugs and dispensing fees, that's just the tip of the proverbial ice-berg, the regular doctors visits just to check in with the doc to keep the free legal dope coming and, overdose call outs from poly-use including methadone interactions and on and on.
Also, those on methadone are considered medically sick so they quailfy for almost a thousand bucks as month on the dole as they are considered eligible for welfare disabilty, I know of people who have went on the program just for the, almost double, welfare rates.
The real sad story is the doctors are putting non addicts on it now for long term pain relief for chronic pain, you will hear real horror stories about this in the not too distant future.
Hopefully the talking heads in Ottawa and Victoria will see the light, I hold out hope for Ottawa, but not so much for Victoria and absolutely none for the city of Vancouver.
Barry
PS The new community court isn't so new, they are doing almost exactly the same thing they did when they tried to adopt the "Drug Court Program" from the states in 2001. Predictably they will once again take a program that has had success south of the border and bring it here and put their "professional" harm reduction twist on it and render it ineffective, just as they did with the drug court thing.
Whats wrong with throwing them in jail like they do other criminals, thats the only way many of us got straight long enough to take a sober look at our life and find the desire to change. All this harm seduction, enabling, caretaking and mollycoddling is the exact opposite of what addicts need.
I was on the community consultation committe for the drug court when it started up in 2001, I was pretty hopeful and excited at first, like some are now for the new community court but I quickly lost hope as it's all based on harm promotion.. I mean reduction. Maybe Justice Gove will see through the b.s., I don't know


9 comments:

Jennifer said...

Well, maybe you see it as all bad, but there are those of us that Methadone maintenance saved our lives.....literally. I have been on MMT SUCCESSFULLY for six years now. I'm a working, contributing member of society, not on welfare or disability or any other such program. I'm a mom and certainly not hunched over or selling hot items or doing sexual favors for my treatment. I know that everyone has an opinion, but if you are going to spout opinion as fact, then for God's sake, get your FACTS straight!!

Anonymous said...

Methadone does NOT "get in your bones" or any other such thing--this is an old street myth. It simply has a longer half life than most other opiates, meaning that the withdrawal period, if abruptly removed, is longer, and that it takes longer to taper off of. People who taper too fast or are abruptly removed with have bone and muscle pain. This is where this rumor stems from.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion. Having been forcibly withdrawn abruptly from both heroin AND methadone, I surely cannot agree with you that heroin withdrawal is like a "mild to moderate flu". It is surely unlike any flu, disease, or even childbirth in the pain and agony it caused and I would never compare it to "the flu", nor do I know of any other opiate addicts who would do so. Abrupt Methadone withdrawal is also painful and horrible, and lasts much longer. This is why lengthy tapering is needed. However, if done correctly, there is no need for suffering--most simply do not have the patientce to conduct a proper taper.

You speak of the "crippled, hunched over and broken" people who have been on methadone for years. That certainly has not been my experience at all. A friend of mine--a counselor who has been on MMT for over 20 years--is an active athlete who mountain climbs, kayaks, and travels the world and is extremely fit and healthy. I know many other long term MMT patients and not a single one of them meets that description. However, since many people do not come to MMT until they have spent years using street drugs and abusing their bodies, there will of course be some with physical priblems. BLaming this on methadone is typical, but unfounded.

People whoring themselves out and fencing stolen goods for methadone? That seems particularly ludicrous. When people go off methadone and relapse, they do not relapse on that wonderful euphoric methadone--they relapse on heroin or another short acting opiate. Methadone does not produce a high or euphoria in stable patients, which is why it is used.

The fact is, methadone maintenance came into play because abstinence based, 12 step "treatment" was simply not effective for the vast majority of opiate addicts. Methadopne is the most successful therapy for opiate addiction available today, and has saved my life and the lives of countless others.

Anonymous said...

My God!, It seems the Methadone cure is worse than the disease.

Where is the treatment?

Anonymous said...

"A friend of mine--a counselor who has been on MMT for over 20 years--is an active athlete who mountain climbs, kayaks, and travels the world and is extremely fit and healthy."

On Methadone FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS? My question would be why? How can you refer to this "counselor" (Yikes) as healthy when he has been using for so long? And please someone, post some credible scientific information on studies re methadone and side effect, including bone density loss.....

I am finding this bizarre.

snowgoer68 said...

Maybe someone here can help me. I have been on methadone for about 10 years for excrutiating phantom limb pain after 68 operations. I have been on the same dose for the last 7 years. Since the beginning I have sweated more than usual with activity but for about 8 months usually-90% of the time it's in the afternoon, I am completely drenched and very CLAMMY apon activity in cool enviroments and feel so yucky even after a shower. My docs say it's not the methadone because it would be happening around the clock but I am not so sure. I had a test for pheochromocytoma and it was negative. Tomorrow I am having a scan to see it there is a tumor on my pituitary which I feel is a waste of time-money but I am desperate because this is effecting the quality of my life a great deal. My leg was amputated above the knee in hopes I would have a less sedentary life style but the fight against the constant pain with the side effects of the medication is more debilitating than the decrepped leg I once had. I really wish I could talk personally with others that have been on long term methadone wheher for chronic pain or MMT.Any help is greatly appreciated.
It is extremely difficult to lead further than one has gone themselves.

Jennifer said...

One Anonymous poster stated,

"My God!, It seems the Methadone cure is worse than the disease.
Where is the treatment?"

Well, first off, in order to be in ANY Methadone Maintenance program, each client is REQUIRED to also receive some sort of one-on-one or group counseling. It's not like we just go in there, get our "daily fix" as ya'll call it, and go about our day getting high. We also have to submit to random drug screening and if we are "dirty" then there are consequences like, losing take-home privileges, more counseling sessions, or getting kicked out of the program period. MMT does NOT condone use of other substances while in treatment. The whole point is to stop using illicit opiates. Methadone doesn't make you high and it in fact BLOCKS the euphoric high that other illicit opiates give you. Now don't get me wrong. There are people who will do anything to get high and that includes abusing and misusing Methadone, using it with many other substances, i.e. benzodiazapines (valium, xanax, ativan, librium, etc.) which is an extremely dangerous combination. They also continue to use heroin, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Percocet, Percodan, Lortab, and any other number of things (cocaine, crack, ice, weed, etc) But that doesn't mean that MMT is ineffective. It is the same way in abstinence based treatment programs, some people are successful, some aren't. In fact, in such abstinence based treatment programs, most only boast a 10% success rate!! I went to six of these without any success. Opiate addiction is just a whole other animal. Thank you to those of you who stand up and post positive things because there is so much negative crap out there and it is hard to get away from all the stigma!!

Jennifer said...

To Snogoer68: I too sweat pretty badly, but only in my facial area. Excessive sweating IS a side effect of Methadone, even after years of treatment. I'm not sure why it hits you in the afternoon, that I can't answer, maybe just your body or your metabolism of the medication. Good luck. There are some new procedures out there that can help with this side effect. Relatively non-invasive and really effective. If I can find the website, I will send you the link.

Anonymous said...

Am I missing something here; why give those addicted to Heroine, Methadone? If it creates a worse addiction, why all the bother, why not do a heroine maintenance program, then treatment? Why substitute a substitute opiate for the real thing? Where is the benefit?

But where is the treatment, that is the most important question.

Jennifer said...

The reason that they don't just do a heroin maintenance program is because heroin has an extremely short half-life and the user generally goes into some sort of withdrawal, needing more, about every 4-6 hours. That totally defeats the purpose because then they are constantly in and out of withdrawal, never stable, and their blood levels are never therapeutic. Methadone is used because it has a really long half-life and the patient only has to take it once a day and it allows for blood levels to reach and maintain at therapeutic levels. Once the patient is not constantly in and out of withdrawals and always looking for the next fix, then it allows for the patient to be more able to undergo behavior therapy. The whole point is for the patient to stop using all the illicit opiates and become stable on Methadone and then be able to start changing their addictive behavior. Methadone does not produce the euphoric high that heroin and other opiates do, plus, once at therapeutic levels, it has a block in it that blocks the euphoric high of other opiates if the patient takes them anyways. I know that a lot of people on MMT still use other drugs, but that doesn't mean that there is no value in MMT. It has saved countless lives and continues to be the "Gold Standard" for opiate addiction treatment. The whole reason they say that to be effective you should remain on MMT for two or more years is because you have to commit to being clean and sober and you have to re-learn how to live life sober and to stop addictive behavior. That takes time. The patient didn't get sick with this disease over night and they aren't going to get straight over night either. Again, I know this is not effective for all opiate addicts. Even in abstinence based treatment facilities, they only boast a 10% success rate. An addict has to WANT to get clean in order to be successful. You get out whatever you put into the program. The treatment comes when the addict agrees to the provided counseling, various 12-step meetings, etc. I don't know how they do it in Canada, but in the USA counseling is required of all patients. The only way the facilities can keep their accreditation is to make counseling mandatory and go by a whole list of other stringent federal and state guidelines for treatment. We don't just get to go in and get our "daily fix" as some call it. Plus, those that are continuously dirty are withdrawn from the program or continue having to come to the clinic every single day and take their daily dose in front of a nurse. You have to earn the privilege of being able to take any medications home with you and that is after a very long period of proving yourself and the first sign of anything awry, they will take the privilege away!! So, I have gotten a lot out of MMT because I have worked my ass off. Again, in Canada, it seems things are way different, like being able to go to a pharmacy, cash incentives, etc. I don't agree with any of that. Plus, here, the government does not pay for our treatment. 90% of patients are self pay. I pay almost $5000.00 a year for my treatment without any assistance. That's all for now.