Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Methadone Maintenance Treatment is under attack in West Virginia

Addiction Treatment Watchdog
Advocates for Recovery through Medicine
Date: January 28, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Joycelyn Woods nama.president@verizon.net
Charles Kitts vanama@comcast.net
Phone: (212) 595-6262
Terri Martinez staff@atwatchdog.org
Chris Kelly DCReardon@aol.com

Methadone Maintenance Treatment is under attack in West Virginia

Delegate Marshall Long, D-Mercer County, West Virginia, plans to introduce a bill creating new state regulations for Opiate Treatment Programs. Long is eyeing regulations from surrounding states to create another needless layer of regulation.

Because Opiate Treatment Programs in West Virginia comply with best treatment practices outlined in the Federal Regulations and CSAT Accreditation Guidelines, patients enrolled in West Virginia Opiate Treatment Programs currently receive some of the best quality treatment available in the United States. This will change soon if Long has his way.

If Longs proposed bill is passed and regulations such as some of the surrounding states currently have are put into effect, West Virginia patients will no longer be able to access quality treatment. The result could be once stable residents relapsing to active opiate misuse.

Delegate Long has also indicated that West Virginia's nonprofit mental health centers should run the clinics instead of privately-owned treatment programs. Long said, “We have trouble funding our mental health centers ... What better way to fund them?”

This comes at a time when most states are changing their regulations to reflect Opiate Treatment Program Federal Regulations that went into effect May 2001. The regulations and best treatment practices outlined in the CSAT Accreditation Guidelines were written by the top experts in the field of opiate addiction treatment to bring uniformity and quality treatment to Opiate Treatment Programs across the country.

West Virginia doesn't need another tier of rules and regulations created by politicians to complicate an already over-regulated medical treatment. We hope to educate West Virginia's elected officials with facts about Methadone Maintenance Treatment, so they can make an educated vote, instead of one based on methadone myths, misinformation and hysteria.

Join us in saving quality medication-assisted treatment for West Virginia patients, and put a stop to this unnecessary waste of taxpayer dollars and elected official’s time by writing West Virginia officials and others.

More information can be obtained at:

Addiction Treatment Watchdog
PO Box 585
Springfield, MO 65801

Advocates for Recovery through Medicine
PO Box 26377
Washington, DC 20001

National Alliance of Methadone Advocates (NAMA)
435 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Phone/Fax: (212) 595-NAMA/6262

Virginia NAMA

Example Letter

West Virginia Legislature Directory

West Virginia Media

News Articles

Charleston Gazette (WV), January 22, 2004.
Methadone Clinics Put On Hold.

Charleston Daily Mail (WV), January 22, 2004.
Methadone Clinics Forced To Wait.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph (WV), January 9, 2004.
Moratorium Could Stall Methadone Clinic Project.

Charleston Gazette (WV), January 8, 2004.
Methadone Clinic Moratorium Possible.

Clarksburg Exponent, January 24, 2004.
Delegates react to methadone ban proposal.
(Not available)

Bluefield Daily Telegraph (WV), January, 5, 2004.
LTE- Half Truths About Methadone Clinics.