The Truth About Methadone Deaths
More government propaganda is being printed by the media. This time it is against methadone. The link to the article is http://info.emergencehealthnetwork.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=news&id=147692&cn=81.
In this article the government blames methadone for overdoses using it. I blame the government. The government sends hundreds of people to the street to treat their chronic pain every time they raid and close down a pain management clinic. Those people have to self-medicate because there is no one to lead them in their treatment.
Methadone is different from other opiates, true. It can be deadly if used incorrectly. But the cause of the deaths using it is government attacks on good physicians.
The problem with methadone is that it doesn’t treat acute pain. It treats chronic pain. Getting one dose/day, like they do in methadone clinics for withdrawal from heroin or other opiate addiction does not treat pain. You have to dose methadone 3-4 times/day for pain relief. That is odd for a drug with such a long half-life. Usually the longer half-life, the longer the effectiveness. For methadone, that is true of the withdrawal effects, but not the pain management effects. Average people don’t know that, however. So since methadone is available on the street and relatively cheap, people buy it to avoid withdrawal with the hope that it will also help their pain. But when they take one, it doesn’t help the pain. So they take another, and another. They think that they should get relief from the pain with the pill. But it doesn’t happen. What does happen, however, is the drug builds up in the system and over the next few days, the respiratory system is slowed down, quite possibly to death.
Is this death caused by the methadone? Maybe directly. But the bottom line cause is the lack of pain management due to the attacks on the government on doctors such as myself. In approximately six years of use of methadone from 2002 to 2008, I did not had a single death due to my care, following my instructions. You would think the government would consider that record applaudable. But no, they refused to give me a DEA certificate when I applied again in 2009.
There are a lot of quotes in this article by Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Such as “All of the evidence suggests that the increase in methadone deaths is related to the increased use of methadone to treat pain.” Well how about matching the methadone deaths with the closures of pain clinics? How about just correlating the methadone deaths around the times that pain clinics have been shut down? I bet there will be more of a positive correlation with those than just with methadone being prescribed for chronic pain.
Mr Freiden also states “There is little evidence that methadone works for chronic non-cancer pain,” mentioning backache or headache. This just shows his ignorance and the government prejudice against proper pain management. Methadone is just like any other opiate, when used by a doctor trained in pain management. If it doesn’t work, you change. But for many people methadone works like a wonder drug.
Yes, methadone is a maverick drug in many ways. That is why it takes a doctor trained in its use to prescribe it. I was one such doctor. Yet they ignore my knowledge and training and send hundreds of patients to the street for treatment. Methadone is a wonderful drug for the population I treated–the uninsured. Being cheaper than the branded drugs, it was affordable for people who couldn’t afford other chronic pain medications.
The government seems to be on a track to eliminate methadone from the choices for pain management. In my opinion, that fits right in to their overall attack on the poor. It is my opinion that our government is engaged in legal genocide–systematically getting rid of the poor, indigent, disabled and elderly. We as a society need to rein in our government agencies, especially the DEA and DOJ. They are not working in the people’s interest, but against it.