NAMA Recovery of Tennessee | The Tennessee Statewide & Northwestern Georgia Chapter of NAMA-R

4.03.2013

OPIATE-DEPENDENT PATIENTS ON A WAITING LIST FOR METHADONE MAINTENANCE TREATMENT ARE AT HIGH RISK FOR MORTALITY UNTIL TREATMENT ENTRY

OPIATE-DEPENDENT PATIENTS ON A WAITING LIST FOR METHADONE MAINTENANCE TREATMENT ARE AT HIGH RISK FOR MORTALITY UNTIL TREATMENT ENTRY

It couldn't be more clear: We must continue to work and advocate for methadone maintenance treatment being available in EVERY community ON DEMAND for patients suffering from opioid addiction when they want/desire to begin treatment.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) just released a study in conjunction with the U.S. National Library of Medicine that shows the longer the patients have to wait to begin methadone maintenance treatment the higher the risk of death until they are able to begin treatment. These statistics should move ALL people with a moral conscience to do everything possible to expand treatment, accessibility and affordability in every community in every country across the globe. How much more TRUTH in medical/scientific research and facts must be known before the stigmatization and misinformation plaguing the life-saving and life-restoring modality of methadone maintenance treatment will cease?

zt

6 comments:

  1. Zac, this is what I am afraid of. It is bad enough that we have to drive 300 miles round trip and 6 hours on the road. D.B. will be 60 to ur 30 on the 13th. Thus, getting older, I have no idea what I am going to do, possibly try to detox down? I am doing that already, I don't want to be a statistic, at times I think I'd rather die than detox completely down.
    Reading your blog, speak the truth, we need younger advocates, as the majority of us are getting older.
    Blessings
    Love,
    Maureen
    AZNAMA R

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    Replies
    1. Maureen,
      I absolutely *hate* that ANY patient who is receiving methadone treatment, especially someone who has made amazingly positive strides as a result of 30+ years on the therapy, would ever have to consider a medical taper due to financial considerations alone. That is, and has been, one of the greatest injustices of mental health & substance abuse treatment/coverage in the United States. The entire notion of a "Feetox" is unconscionable and a moral outrage. But, Maureen, don't lose heart or make any plans to taper just yet; The full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (aka "ObamaCare") this next January of 2014 will bring with it the largest expansion of mental health and substance misuse coverage in U.S. history. While the complete implications for Methadone Maintenance Treatment and Medication Assisted Recovery are still not 100% clear, most experts in the field (such as Joycelynn Sue Woods, MA, CMA, Executive Director of NAMA Recovery, NYC) believe that the implications are *extremely* positive for MMT/MAR. It is highly likely that no insurance companies, whether gov't like Medicare of private like United or Blue Cross Blue Shield, will be legally able to continue discriminating against Methadone Maintenance patients living in Medication Assisted Recovery. There *is* a silver lining, so have hope & don't lose heart!

      Thanks for reading the blog!

      zt

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    2. Zac, I will keep on reading, since my days are not too filled yet, awaiting the summer air. We can leave our windows open and front door & it keeps it cool inside here. Phoenix on the other hand isn't fit for man nor beast, the heat is too overwhelming! That phrase about not fit for man nor beast was one of my late Mom's saying.122 degrees is just too much for me at my age! We both feel like we are going to pass out when in Phoenix & the city is crazy now. I'm told allot of people from Chicago live up here now,
      There are 2100 people here in the winter, 5200 in the summer months.
      On to my next blog.
      Take care Zac
      Blessings,
      Maureen

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    3. Maureen,
      I am honored to have you as a reader of the blog, and I welcome your thoughts & comments. Your knowledge & perspective based on 30+ years of personal experience as both a MAT/MMT advocate AND patient are invaluable!
      It certainly sounds like a lovely time of year where you live in Arizona! It's been a beautiful Saturday here in the Eastern Tennessee mountains today as well. I wouldn't mind having weather like this year-round! :-)
      Thanks for reading!
      In solidarity,
      Zac
      NAMA R of TN

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  2. In my hometown there is a clinic & when I decided to get into the program I called amd they told me a 6 month to a year waiting list... :-( I couldnt wait that long..my cousin whom has been on the program for 7 years was going to one in the next city 30 mins away, at the time i did not have a vehicle and she said their was a dr. taking patients so I called and went for my intake and was in within a week n a half... Now I moved 3 hoirs south of where I originally started on the program to find out there is absolutely no clinic and i started to panic then found out a dr that has an office in TORONTO comes to my city once a week on wednesdays and is taking patients...so i was in luck again!!! there definetly needs to be more clinics around I know ppl in my hometown still on a waiting list from last year and no vehicle or help to take them to the next town and want to get help!!! :-(

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    Replies
    1. Pam,

      Your experience is, unfortunately, similar to those faced by MMT patients in countries around the world. The Canadian system is quite different than the treatment center model in the United States, and I am thankful that you were able to find a MMT provider (even though he is only in your area 1 day a week). One of NAMA-Recovery's goals, "To make treatment available on demand to every person who needs it," is still as urgent today as it was when the modality of Methadone Maintenance Treatment was first discovered in the 1960's. We *ALL,* patients and providers alike, have a responsibility to work towards this goal by doing all we can to create a more positive image about methadone maintenance treatment and promoting facts over misinformation and stigma.

      Thanks for reading!

      Zac

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