From the Star Tribune:
As opioid overdose deaths have spiked in Minnesota — from 54 in 2000 to 355 last year — so has the number of methadone clinics and patients. Across the state, 16 clinics now treat some 6,700 addicts.
But methadone deaths have risen in tandem. Minnesota is on pace for more than 70 this year, up from just five in 2000, according to a Star Tribune review of death certificate data through September.
An expert offers a defense:
Even so, Dr. Charles Reznikoff of Hennepin County Medical Center said the state’s opioid death toll would be far worse if methadone weren’t available. The addiction specialist said HCMC’s outpatient methadone clinic sees 300 patients a day — more than its emergency department.
“For every patient who dies [taking methadone], there are five who are saved,” he said.
One solution could be greater use of Suboxone, a newer opioid treatment that isn’t addictive and comes with fewer federal restrictions.
BTW – We recently took a closer look at a meta-analysis used to support Suboxone.
BTW2 – We also recently posted on the business of Suboxone.