06 April 2005

Heroin Cure

When I saw this my jaw just kind of dropped open in shock - there's a pill out there which doesn't get people high but gets them away from heroin without methadone.

Methadone is not a solution. I've represented a number of people who basically just switched from heroin to methadone and were just as hooked as before.

If there's something out there which is far, far better why the heck do we persist in the use of methadone clinics handing out a drug which is only slightly less evil than that which it is supposed to cure.

We should be ashamed.

6 comments:

M. Simon said...

Drug "addiction" is a symptom. Symptomatic cures are not the answer. People take pain relievers to relieve pain. Duh.

Since medicine does not currently recognize PTSd as pain, pain relief is not allowed. Thus people go outside government.

Addiction or Self Medication?

Heroin

Genetic Discrimination

Cannabinoids - the Key to many Pains?

Big Mac - heroin attack

Capitalism, Pain and the War on Drugs

Ken Lammers said...

My clients are addicted to heroin. How they got there would probably be a good thing to be dealt with by treatment programs but that's not what I'm talking about.

If you do not deal with the addiction you won't stop an addict from going back to the drug. There is definitely massive pain in withdrawal; I've seen too many people going cold turkey in jail to have any delusions there. If the drug in this article were available and used in the weaning process it would be a far better than methadone. Methadone offers its own addictive high and therefore provides both the stick of withdrawal and the carrot of the high.

Litigator said...

I dont mean to sound like some conspiracy theorist, but I will anyway.
According to this article Methadone is made by Eli Lilly. Eli Lilly has received funding from many government agencies. In fact, here's a list of a few members of their Board of Directors
A sample of those who have been on the Eli Lilly payroll includes:

Former President George Herbert Walker Bush (one-time member of the Eli Lilly board of directors)
Former CEO of Enron, Ken Lay (one-time member of the Eli Lilly board of directors)
George W. Bush’s former director of Management and Budget, Mitch Daniels (a former Eli Lilly vice president)
George W. Bush’s Homeland Security Advisory Council member, Sidney Taurel (current CEO of Eli Lilly)
Did you know that Zyprexa is one of their best selling drugs, selling over $2 Billion in 2002? That wouldn't be too surprising except that this drug is supposed to be prescribed for schizophrenia, but somehow it received approval from Medicaid to be dispensed for depression much like Prozac or Paxil.

Pleader said...

I am about to recommence duties as a Drug Court lawyer. Drug Court is a diversionary court for non violent offenders at severe risk of jail as result of drug related offending. Heroin is the major drug of choice of clients. They do a deal with the court in return for reduced sentence (or suspension of same). On client's part, this involves about a year of intensive 'whole of life' drug treatment. Bupe is the number one choice of the medical people for the pharmaceotherapy side of treatment. It is very tightly controlled in Australia, but not as badly as New York. The clients really appreciate it and I haven't heard a bad thing about it from them when I worked in this court in the past. None of them are too keen on methadone, for the reasons alluded to in the posted article. The fact that only about a third of them make it through a year of court managed rehabilitation is more a sign of the social prejudices and disadvantages of the client base, and the 'motivations' this provides for relapse, than of the drug therapy they are on. From several years of observation, Bupe has it all over Methadone.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I'm with you. The ridiculous reasons keeping it from wider use are just sickening. Requiring it to be distributed daily at a methadone clinic is tantamount to hoping it will fail.

M. Simon said...

Ken,

You are confusing habituation with addiction.

Habituation is easy to cure (relatively - it may be hard on the body though).

However it is the "addiction" which is the problem. People get detoxed and go back to using. Why? Because they are not getting relief from their PTSD problems.

My thesis is:

People take pain relievers to relieve pain. A novel idea to be sure.

You want to stop chronic drug use (what is commonly called "addiction")? Relieve these people's pain.

So far there is no known cure for PTSD except time. Under those circumstances medicine is required to keep the patient comfortable - i.e. giving them the desired drugs would be indicated.

It is a sign of just how screwed up our law and medicine is in this area that medicating the patient with a medication that the patient prefers is not allowed.