Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Wrong News - Again

New treatment works

Painkiller better than methadone therapy

What a sad and naive story this is.

Of course, anything works better than methadone. A conversation with your Aunt Tilly, a cup of green tea or a ride on the bumper cars all work better than methadone.

That alleged scientists publish "results" like this is to laugh or cry.

That newspapers pubish these stories is to laugh or cry all over again.

This is not, by any standard imaginable, treatment.

This is substituing one drug for another.

This is saying to the addict, "You are a hopeless idiot and you can never move on. So we, the DOCTORS WHO KNOW EVERYTHING, will keep you enslaved.

The addict, of course, is too stoned and too wired on his habit to resist.

But, if only one other human being reaches across the aisle and says instead, "You are not sick, Brother. You are stupid. You've been making some lousy choices, and you can learn to make new choices that are more productive..." if one person says that, at least 25% of the addicts will, with some work, become clean and sober and stay that way.

Stop the enabling and let's move on.


Anonymous said...

And what of the other 75%? Should we just leave them to die?

Addiction is not a moral failing that can be cured by a "come on, brother" and a hand, any more than schizophrenia can. No one is saying that methadone should be given to patients who are able to be successful with abstinence based treatment--but the fact is that MOST are NOT, and THAT is who this is for. Long term opiate abuse causes permanent chemical changes in the brains of some users, making abstinence a truly miserable experience of an inability to feel normal joys and pleasures, severe depression, anxiety, lethargy, etc--symptoms which do not dissipate with time as they do for many others. Medication--properly administered--can give the patient a more normal balance of the brain chemistry and enable them to live a more normal life than they otherwise could.

Saying that because 25% are able to do without it, no one else should need it either makes no sense. Many diabetics are able to get by with only diet and exercise--others need oral meds--still others require insulin. Some depressives can get by with talk therapy--others need medication. We all have natural opiates--endorphins--which is why we have opiate receptors in the brain. They help to regulate mood, control pain, and enable us to feel pleasure and happiness. If they cease functioning, life is painful and miserable physically and mentally. This tends to lead to relapse in those cases where the alteration is permanent. Denying treatment to these people because others do not need it makes no sense at all.

armme said...

YOur ignorance is astounding.

Ordinarily, I would try to make you see the error of your ways...but I am pretty sure this post proves your opinion is too steeped in prejudice and discrimination to ever be changed.

It's like the people who keep insisting that AIDS is God way of punishing the sins of the inflicted. It's impossible to argue with that kind of ignorance.

Anonymous said...

And this.....

"It found that an optimized program, which included counselling, a low patient-to-staff ratio and a dosage at least 50-per-cent higher than what is normally dispensed by pharmacies, retained 54 per cent of its patients -- significantly higher than the 40-per-cent retention rate of existing methadone programs."

So, the dosage of this replacement drug is already 50% higher than what is normally dispensed... Well, heck, if that doesn't do it, they can just up it some more. One addiction is as good as another, seems to be the mindset.
ARE THESE PEOPLE NUTS? Do they not realize that they are experimenting with people's brains/minds? And what exactly does "retained" mean? Shades of the Allan Memorial Institute...

David Berner said...

Shades of Josef Mengele.

These nutbars are Fascists of the worst kind - intellectuals who have surgically removed their hearts and their humanity, along with any vertiges of common sense that may have lingered.

David Berner said...

My ignorance?

I spent 10 years running a residential tretament centre for addicts in two provinces. The program is still helping people turn their lives around 40 years later.

What have you done?

My "opinions" have nothing to do with prejudice or discrimination.

My thoughts are based on the arduous and loving work of many years with real human beings.

Anonymous said...

Of course a huge dose of painkiller will feel as good as heroin.
It's BECAUSE it is a drug! Legal, but a drug.
How many people have had to go into detox to wean themselves off painkillers?
Will this insanity ever end?

Anonymous said...

"Medication--properly administered--can give the patient a more normal balance of the brain chemistry and enable them to live a more normal life than they otherwise could."

There it is again, that phrase "balance of the brain chemistry". Do you know that there is *no* scientific proof of the "brain chemistry imbalance" theory whatsoever? I have followed this for many many years - going back to the 1950s - and have a lot of personal experience with it - and the only thing that has changed is that various "theories" emerge from time to time. One "chemical" or another cited in the "imbalance" theory. Latest is seratonin - prior to that there were others - many others. This is theory - not science and the only thing it has produced is more psychiatric drugs - and now, for heaven's sake, they are doing the same thing with addiction that the psychiatric community did with depression.

And....WHAT THE HELL IS A DEPRESSIVE? Do you also call one who has chicken pox - a chicken?

There have been books written by former psychiatric patients (horror stories), as well as former alcoholics/addicts. They have been there - and recovered - WITHOUT PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS, PAIN KILLERS OR METHADONE. Someone should listen to them.

There are far more wounded hearts out there than broken brains.


armme said...

You have no idea who I am or who I have helped. You have no idea because you haven't even bothered to really look into MMT before making up your mind. DRUGS=bad in your mind and thats all there is to it.... "the earth is flat the earth is flat because everyone says it is!"

Your treatment program, while a wonderful project, still doesn't account for your need to completely disregard science and pretend your still doing a wonderful thing for addicts. You only help 25% of those who come to you! I would be willing to bet those stats weren't even found by any real study.

The absurd thing is that in REAL medicine your 25% success rate would be widdled way down. How do you KNOW you have a 25% success rate? Do addicts come to you and say "I am doing so WELL"...gee it's SO UNLIKE patients to LIE to their doctors or "healers". You do some real research with drug testing and a ten year follow up (which methadone maintenance does have to back it's success rate, come up with some REAL indicators of high quality of life and health and then we'll talk about how many people you've HELPED.

Your basing your whole idea of "doing well" on whether a person SAYS they haven't used. IN EVERY OTHER AREA of medicine REAL indicators of wellness are used. Even if we were using ONLY abstinance from drugs and medications as success, can you imagine how many treatments for health problems would be eliminated>? Ending drug use/medication use means NOTHING in the scheme of things if the patient is still suffering from symptoms of their ILLNESS!

YOu should be asking when the 12step insanity will end,not our insantiy-- because IT WILL. Believing in 12steps as a treatment and at the same time believing that addiction is a disease is complete HIPOCRISY. It's like believing Adam and Eve created all human beings and believing in Evolution too--it doesn't FIT. ONE OR THE OTHER.

You can believe that people will continue to pay HUGE amounts of money to a program they have very poor results with OVER AND OVER again, do you? We did it for centuries with the mentally ill, but finally science prevailed. It will with addiction too.

You make a living treating this illness, I realize. So you have to protect your beliefs if you want to continue to make a living this way--but the reality is your making money by continuing to offer treatment with a low success rate and by convincing people it's the ONLY way to happiness and it's a cure that doesn't exist.

You questioned MY motives, lets questions yours! Why on earth would you want me to be correct? Right now your making money off a treatment that includes no real MEDICAL TREATMENT or science. There is no proof it works, hardly anyone gets better and but there are a whole lot of fireworks and praying that make us believe it works. WitchDoctoring. You have the added bonus of knowing that these people will relapse and be back over and over again. Paying you over and over again.

You assume that the methadone clinic industry is all about money and reducing the effects of addiction on society, but you can't possibly imagine that the MMT "industry" has the same motives as you: to make a living helping people. HMMMMM.....isn't that what all of medicine is?

It's ok if you want to pretend I am some radical thinker who has outlandish ideas that no one will ever accept. But maybe just maybe it's the other way around? I can call you a fascist idealist too--it doesn't mean you are one.

The sad thing is that there is room for both kinds of healing--and most people need both. Not all, but most. They need medical intervention and they need support and therapy to join the world of the healthy again. Our side is more than willing to allow your treatment in conjunction with ours--but yours keeps refusing to admit there could be another way.

David Berner said...

I don't make a living in treatment.

My work has for 30 years been far removed from addiction matters.

I have no immediate interest in this issue, other than my constant wish for more treament being provided.

And all the pseudo-science in the world will never convince me that giving people drugs and needles and clean crack pipe kits is helpful.

So, go ahead. Call me "ignorant."

You have yet to declare yourself.

You have a name? You have a track record?

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely outraged at the way this posting has gone.
I am not leaving my name as I have had people attack me verbally and almost physically over my beliefs on this.
I started looking for help for my parents when I was THIRTEEN years old and by the time I was 21 they had died from their addictions.
That was over 30 years ago.Things have gotten worse since then.
All that happens is that various "groups" fight. And fight, and fight.
They yell and scream that addiction is complicated and that people can't get sober. The medical profession can be one of the worst groups.
I'll tell you why. It's because everybody has become total defeatists in this. Why even bother trying to get people away from addiction.Besides the defeatist system can employ more and more people to keep the merry go round going.
I don't care if people get clean from yoga,God,12-steps,acupuncture,Traditional Chinese medicine.etc.
It is possible.
I should be negative, after all my parents died. I'm not though because I have had the pleasure of meeting many people who salvaged their lives.

Anonymous said...

"I should be negative, after all my parents died. I'm not though because I have had the pleasure of meeting many people who salvaged their lives."

Yes, that is true. I know many who have recovered - and they did not do it by taking medication or substitute drugs. The inane talk up there ^^^ about "science" is nonsense and is always spouted by those who have never been there. Obviously, that person knows nada about the twelve step programs. YOU TAKE WHAT YOU NEED AND LEAVE THE REST - which means many do not "pray" - and many do not believe all of the tenets. The group support and ABSTINENCE is the key to recovery. I have known physicians, lawyers, ex priests, atheists and agnostics, as well as successful business people who have recovered by using the 12 steps TO FACILITATE INTROSPECTION
INTO THE WAY ONE IS LEADING ONE'S LIFE - AND TO ACCEPT FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR SAID LIFE. If nothing else, the twelve step programs can plant a seed and others go on to recover on their own.
And as to money - there is little to speak of in the 12 step groups. They are all self supporting. You obviously know nothing about them.

Addiction is often about medicating pain and the way out is through.

What nonsense you spew.....

David Berner said...

I am so sorry that this conversation has gone badly for you.

And I am even more sorry for the loss of your parents.

I have no wish to attack you.

Oddly enough, although we are starting from very different places, we seem to want the same thing - help for addicts.

And I agree with you that the medical profession can be the worst offenders at sewing discord on this subject.

Many people may be defeatists.

I am not.

I still believe in the ability of people to get past their addictions.

I do believe that doctors and others who hand out substitute drugs and needles and crack kits are the real defeatists. I believe they are cynical and without hope or faith in the human spirit.

That is why I continue to lobby for real treatement that leads to clean and sober lives.

I don't want to fight with you or anybody else about this issue.

I want to see more treatment. Period.

I am thinking of you, and wishing you some good health and peace.

Be well, my friend.

Anonymous said...

I know you are not attacking me.
I am reminded of a statement made by
Silvanus Thompson (a Quaker scientist).
He said "Any subject may be made repulsive by presenting it bristling with difficulties".
That has happened to addiction.
The perception of "impossible to recover" has led to almost no treatment available.
The ultimate defeat.