Today 2nd of October 2019 Google chose Dr. Herbert Kleber to be their Google Doodle for that day, he was a pioneer in the understanding of drug addicts and how to treat their symptoms with evidence based treatments He pioneered new approaches such as community-based treatment and methadone maintenance therapy for heroin addicts.
Methadone is a controversial topic and my thoughts are that the whole system needs reviewing. Replacing an opioid with another opioid and hope that you don’t produce another addict is a concept I have always found bizarre. It is well known that opioids are highly addictive and those who use them to replace one addiction with another often have very addictive personalities, it requires a much more structured regime to get clean than just relying on a prescription to take the pain away.
R Robertson argues Methadone is an effective treatment for opiate dependency. Social disapproval and the potential risks should not be barriers to providing this much needed treatment. AM Daniels counters the primary
purpose of drug addiction ‘treatment’ should surely be the return of patients to a drug-free existence; a secondary goal might be harm reduction, though this goal is not without its ethical problems.
The ultimate goal of rehabilitation from drug addiction should be a drug free existence, evidence shows that methadone is an excellent drug for alleviating the withdrawal symptoms, it negates the need for needle sharing thusly decreasing associated cross infections and diseases. It is also ‘cheap’ and presumably highly profitable by the pharmaceutical companies, a similar situation to the Oxycontin row, it seems in this case the lawsuits have become huge class actions. It is however also a choice to take drugs, the addiction you experience is the result of a choice, can we hold companies accountable for our actions? Families want compensation for the damage caused by pharmaceutical companies to their lost family member and certainly they should be recompensed but there needs to be a change in the system to stop using methadone and find something more effective preferably drug free such as behavioural therapy.