A human right

The Open Society Foundations argues that methadone is a basic human right.

Why not real, recovery-oriented treatment?

2 Comments

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2 responses to “A human right

  1. Matt

    Why do you lay those out as if they’re in contradiction?

  2. Jason Schwartz

    Because, in practice, they typically are.

    In the U.S., the norm is the dosing clinic that provides no meaningful treatment and often refuses to cooperate when clients request a taper to detox from the methadone. We often get calls from prospective clients who are on methadone and can’t get off it. Their treatment provider won’t help and they are left with the bad options of staying on methadone, getting back on heroin or conning a doctor into write them a rx for opiates.

    The Scotland, where methadone is the standard, 60% of methadone patients would prefer to be in drug-free services and few are offered the option of those services.

    Why the emphasis on methadone? I beleive much of it is based on the premise that heroin addicts cant recover. Why is it that methadone is a form of treatment that doctors never use for their addicted colleagues? much of that pessimism is born from the failure of drug-free treatment of inadequate intensity, duration and quality and, when we choose to address those inadequacies, outcomes for opiate addicts are very, very good.

    Bill White wrote a very comprehensive monograph on recovery-oriented methadone treatment. He adopts a pro-methadone position, but would be the first to acknowledge that one of the reasons he had to write the monograph is because recovery-oriented methadone treatment is a rare thing. Below are some posts about that monograph.

    http://www.dawnfarm.org/recovery-oriented-methadone-maintenance
    http://www.dawnfarm.org/recovery-oriented-methadone-maintenance-part-2
    http://www.dawnfarm.org/recovery-oriented-methadone-maintenance-part-3
    http://www.dawnfarm.org/recovery-oriented-methadone-maintenance-part-4
    http://www.dawnfarm.org/recovery-oriented-methadone-maintenance-part-5