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October 30, 2012


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Tonya Roberts

Unfortunately, the deaths from addiction treatment are more common than are reported to the CDC. Many of these patients are also taking other presctibed drugs that may not have an effect on methadone but are reported as a poy drug death with no mention of methadone. SAMHSA does not require these deaths be reported although many states do. In the states that do require reporting, this is not being done and the few that are reported are NOT being investigated.
One of the problem with these clinics are that MANY provide substandard care. Many patients are started on methadone based only on a positive drug screen for opiates. There are federal and state guidelines in place to try and prevent these clinics from just being a supplier of drugs, but in many cases these are not being enforced. Many of the doctors working in these clinics do not understand the unique properties of methadone and this puts patients at an increased risk for death. Most deaths occur within the first two weeks of starting methadone. The risk of death during this time is up to 6.7 times higher than that of a heroin addict. Many of these clinics do not properly monitor and assess (vital signs, pupil checks, ect.) patients during this dangerous time . There are clinics that will continue to dose patients knowing that the patients are abusing other drugs that have lethal interactions with methadone.In fact SAMHSA (the federal agency that oversees these clinics) recommends this practice. Patients are not being assessed and monitored for signs of intoxication and sedation during the continued treatment with methadone. The federal guidelines do not require that a continued assessment (with vital signs, pupil checks ect.) be done after the first two weeks of induction. Many clinics are routinely starting all patients on a 30 mg dose even though SAMHSA has stated that this is NOT a safe dose for every patient. This has caused MANY deaths.Best Practices for methadone treatment needs to be updated to address these deaths.Should patients receive substandard care because they are being treated for a drug addiction? How many people have to die before we address these issues? www.stopmethadonedeaths.com

Joan Price

My sister was given methadone to treat a chronic pain condition. She became addicted, and couldn't stop taking it. She suffered major methadone withdrawal once she tried. I think there needs to be more regulation for these drugs. If the "cure" is worse than or equally as bad as the "disease," it's time we look for a new treatment.

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