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Methadone Clinics Don’t Solve Heroin Addiction Problem

The City Council in Brewer, Maine, was supposed to make a decision on opening more methadone clinics. There are already nine of them, three of them in Bangor, just a mile from Brewer. They’ve put the decision off until January, largely because they’re concerned with social issues. They say the residents don’t want more drug addicts around and they think it promotes crime.

What they don’t seem to be really confronting is the number of people in the area who are addicted to heroin or other opiates and are consequently looking for methadone. Nor do they seem to be aware that getting people off heroin is much easier than getting them off methadone. They acknowledge that people need help, but this is the wrong way to go about it. Get them off heroin, not onto methadone.

There are some addiction help facilities that won’t even accept someone on methadone because getting off it is so difficult and takes so long.

If they want to curb the drug problem, they should be putting their efforts, and their money, into getting people off heroin – not getting them onto an alternative drug that’s even more of a problem.

And, by the way, if you or someone you care about is taking methadone and wants to get off it, there are some facilities that will take you and are successful. Contact Addiction Help Services for more info.

2 responses to “Methadone Clinics Don’t Solve Heroin Addiction Problem”

  1. ARM-ME says:

    Methadone is a valid treatment option for people addicted to opiates or heroin. The aim of treatment isn’t to “get people off methadone” it’s to get them BACK to living a normal life. Methadone helps them do that.

    Opiate addiction is different than other addictions. It causes changes in endorphin production. Endorphins are the human bodies own pain control. They help people feel content, satisfied and happy. Without endorphin production life can be very bleak for an opiate addict. Sometimes being off illicit drugs is worse than being on them for an addict. Methadone gives the patient balance and loss of craving so they can concentrate on other things besides getting high.

    For too long our society has treated drug addiction differently than any other illness. Things are now changing. Medication and REAL medical treatments will become a mainstay of all addiction treatment at some point in the future.

    Gone are the days when we told an addict all they had to do to FEEL and ACT better was pray to GOD and confess all our sins at a meeting.

    Oh and the reason why Brewer is still debating this issue has NOTHING to do with them wanting to help people with addiction and EVERYTHING to do with not wanting to get SUED. To zone out a methadone clinic is against the ADA.

    ALSO, addiction, overdose and crime rates FALL in towns with methadone clinics not the reverse.

  2. zenith says:

    You seem to be laboring under the delusion that all it takes to “cure” addiction is getting the patient through the detox. If that were the case, then you would be correct that it would be quicker to detox someone off heroin than methadone. It would also mean that traditional rehabs would have a MUCH higher success rate than they do now. Unfortunately, such is not the case. Methadone treatment was developed precisely because detox alone, and conventional abstinence based treatment, was not working for the vast majority of opioid addicts. Even though they were clean, and free of withdrawal symptoms, they relapsed over and over again.

    We now know that this is largely due to changes in the brain chemistry that can occur in many long term opioid users. Methadone stabilizes brain chemistry without causing a high or euphoria in tolerant patients, unlike heroin, allowing them to live a normal life. Methadone can be tapered slowly if the patient desires to try life without medication, and if it is done slowly and carefully, no symptoms to speak of will occur. However, many patients may require lifelong therapy, due to the sometimes permanent nature of the brain chemistry disturbances.

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