It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's… Methadone Man?


I’m open to harm reduction, but I’m troubled by the culture of many harm reductionists.

7 thoughts on “It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's… Methadone Man?

  1. I was in a Methadone training once, presented by a very nice, avuncular physician. He talked very compassionately about his patients, how they were looked down upon even within the recovering community. It was very moving, and had me rethinking some of my negativity about methadone. Right up until a nurse came in to tell him that one of his patients had shown up, was out in the waiting area, showing symptoms of withdrawal. The kindly old doc said, "he was supposed to be here this morning. He can wait." I swear I saw the hint of a little self-satisfied smile. I think I'll take a pass on Methadone Man.

  2. I've got mixed feelings about this too. I heard someone say that harm reduction hadn't destigmatised addiction, but had only normalised it and that for me brings up the dilemma of harm reduction approaches. At what point do they add to the problem?Where do we draw the line? I find the analogy I've read here of genital mutilation a useful comparison. Would a harm reduction approach be useful here? Why not?Methadone Man trivialises and normalises something that deserves better treatment. While I'm inspired by his tights and white teeth (clearly not using methadone himself), MM doesn't quite do it for me because his powers are limited. I'm more inspired by Recovery Lad who aims high and while he nods to the value of his superhero colleague's methods, he doesn't see them as ends in themselves.

  3. Thanks for the post. Well, yes, what are they celebrating. I know that drug addiction is serious and there is a huge stigma attached with it, but I don't know that this doesn't work — the normalization of drug addiction. I can say that with every other program out there — there is are NO one size fits all. All addicts are different, so treatments need to be adjusted to fit the person.

  4. Mike, I am all for adjusting the treatment to fit the individual; my concern is that methadone seeks to do the opposite. The individual addict is changed to suit the treatment, and not in any good way. As a friend of mine put it, I was Methadone Man for about 7 years. My suit was bright orange, though. I didn't fly very high. I crashed and burned.

  5. Mike – No doubt there is no one size fits all. I should make a distinction. Methadone is one thing, if someone can find recovery through methadone, my hat's off to them. (Though I know of no recovery oriented MM providers in my region.)However, harm reduction woman seems to celebrate/normalize active addiction. I can't get with that.

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