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Drug Addiction Treatment – Not Methadone, Says Russia

Ever since Russia opened up to the rest of the world, the country has had a drug problem. Russia has been corrupt in several ways for a long time, but drugs was not one of them. Now they have a heroin addiction problem. Some drug ‘specialists’ in Russia are advocating methadone treatment, but most consider it almost a killing offense to even suggest it. Generally, methadone treatment is not considered addiction help, it’s trading addiction to one opiate for another.

Perhaps the relative absence of Big Pharma in Russia – that is, compared to the U.S., where Big Pharma has shaped the country into a nation of drug takers and legal drug dealing is the country’s most profitable industry – allows the Russian officials to see methadone treatment for what it really is. Here’s a quote from a recent story in the NY Times: “Methadone opponents in Russia say the therapy entraps patients in lifelong addiction; others accuse Western countries of pushing the treatment on Russia for commercial gain. There are also fears that methadone could seep into the black market, given the high level of corruption at many Russian clinics. ”

There are plenty of methadone treatment dissenters in the U.S., but, culturally, we are so used to drugs being the solution for just about everything that it’s easily accepted. As is prescription drug addiction of other kinds. Russia is looking at the cold, hard facts. Successful drug addiction help services mean getting the person off drugs, not onto another one.

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