Quality of life in methadone patients

The benefits from methadone maintenance are seen in every country where it is offered.  That heroin and related addictions improve with this treatment without regard to culture demonstrates that they are medical, biologically based disorders.  This kind of cross cultural efficacy of a treatment is what is found in almost all major psychiatric and medical illnesses.  In this 2013 article from the British journal, Biomedical Psychiatry, the authors conclude that in the study of over 500 heroin addicts in China, …
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Heroin deaths quadrupled in Maine from 2011 to 2012

Along with sharp reductions in the imbursement for methadone maintenance treatment, which may be the lowest in the nation, reduced assess to prescription opiates and increased availability of high quality inexpensive heroin correlates to a four hundred percent increase in heroin overdose deaths from 2011 to 2012.  To make matters even worse, Maine has refused to accept Federal funding related to the affordable care act, according to this article in the January 15, 2014 edition of the Portland Press Herald. …
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Vermont gov. confronts deadly heroin crisis as public health problem

This Governor gets it right… the War on Drugs is an abysmal failure in regard to heroin and opiates.  The lack of access and inadequate funding for medication assisted treatment (methadone and others) have resulted in escalation of heroin overdoses and untreated addiction.  These increases are associated with ever increasing financial and human costs related to death, suffering, prosecution and incarceration of the addicted.  PBS Newshour posted an interview of Gov. Shumlin of Vermont explaining his views on the issue.  …
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A Promising New Drug to Treat Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is described as a “silent killer” estimated to have infected three to four million people in America and 150 million worldwide. This staggering number is three to five times greater than those infected with H.I.V. It’s called the silent killer because most people who are infected with the disease don’t know it since it can take many decades for it to show symptoms of silently destroying the liver. Many drugs have been created to kill the Hepatitis C …
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10 Methadone Facts

Where does methadone come from? Methadone was created by chemists in Germany in WWII. Its intention was to take the place of the scarcely available morphine to work as a painkiller. It was offered as a pain medication for surgical and cancer patients in the U.S. in 1947. It was known as Dolophine at the time. In 1950, it was first used for short-term use to minimize withdrawal symptoms by addicts of heroin and morphine. How is it different than …
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Tighter Regulation of Painkillers

As of January 2013, the FDA is pushing to reschedule hydrocodone combination products from Schedule III to Schedule II and this month plan to submit its formal recommendation package to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius. The FDA is confident that the National Institute on Drug Abuse will stand alongside them on this recommendation, which will in turn help the HHS submit its recommendation to the DEA to make the ultimate decision on rescheduling …
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Methadone Maintenance Treatment – FAQ’s

How does a patient get increases or decreases in their dosage? After intake, the nurse will assess the patient for two weeks to determine if increases or decreases are needed and then will get the order from the MD signed on what is best course of action. Nurse/patient interaction continues daily to see how the patient feels. The methadone dosage should last 24 hours and be stable with no signs of cravings or withdrawals. Patients will not be given an …
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Better Access to Methadone Treatment Needed to Reduce Overdose Deaths

Opioid overdose deaths are on the rise. So much in fact that it is now the second-leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., behind motor-vehicle accidents. Shocking? Yes. Can something be done to change this? Absolutely, but the treatment being used now, detoxification, is not working. More access is needed to methadone treatment to drastically reduce overall deaths caused by overdosing on opioids. The Medical News reported in their August 2013 issue that experts were calling for an increased …
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Highlight on Medication-Assisted Recovery Services (MARS)

We’re bringing attention to a project that has been instrumental in fighting for respectful, science-based, and effective treatment for addiction to heroin and other opiates – The Medication Assisted Recovery Services (MARS) program.  Since 2005, MARS (a peer-initiated and peer-based recovery support project) has worked to inspire the transformation of medication-assisted treatment into medication-assisted recovery. The project was initiated by a group of methadone maintenance patients, as well as other individuals who play an essential role in the field of …
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Military Insurance Expands to Cover Methadone Maintenance

Last month, the U.S. Department of Defense ruled the authorization of Tricare (the U.S. Military’s insurance program) to cover drug maintenance programs. This important ruling will allow the military’s active duty members, veterans, and their families to participate in methadone maintenance programs, which have shown to greatly improve the likeliness that an individual will fully recover from drug addiction. Often, military members return from service with both physical ailments as well as psychological issues that must be addressed with prescription …
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