Thursday, December 08, 2005

Kent Hospital's Mothers on Methadone Conference a Success (December 7, 2005)


December 8, 2005

Sharon Dembinski, PNP, CMA
Kent Hospital/Women & Infants' Hospital
Kent Hospital Mother's On Methadone Program

Kent Hospital's Mothers on Methadone Conference
December 7, 2005

The conference was held last night and it was a huge success! The room was packed with well over 100 attendees. The speakers were eloquent and their presentations led to many excellent questions from the audience.

I received many emails today in response to last night's conference and I wanted to share some of the comments. Many of the speakers and planning committee members have also received many, many positive comments as well!

I want to personally thank each one of the speakers for so graciously agreeing to be involved. Their presence made the conference what it was.

I would also like to thank all those that were able to attend. I hope you were as satified with the presentation and content as I was.

To those would were not able to attend: maybe next year? I would love to be able to make this a yearly event!!

Thank you all for your interest, support and encouragement!

Sharon Dembinski, PNP, CMA
Kent Hospital Mother's On Methadone Program
NENAMA Mother's On Methadone
401 736-4561


"It was an excellent program. On a personal level, it was so heartbreaking to me, I had many tears in my eyes during the conference and a good cry later ..there is hope"

"Good news on your conference. Great job"


"great job, great attendance, a lot of good information"

"Congratulations, sounds like it was a wonderful event"

"I too heard positive feedback this morning. It was a delight to work with the planning committee on this event. Well done all!!!"

"The conference content was very well directed to the target audience and it was well received. The speakers were very eloquent and quite punctual and the food was great.

I am sure this will change the attitudes, and help remove the myths and stigma associated with methadone treatment and addiction in general."

"Very nice job. Again, kudos to all involved"

"I'm so sorry i wasn't able to attend - I was in a car

.........My husband did go, and thought it was really terrific!!!! Congratulations!!!"

"Congratulations on a well run and very informative training last night. Dr. Payte is quite knowledgeable and had a very good presentation. Your staff seems very understanding and caring towards the Mom’s on Methadone and I’m sure your results reflect that. We’d like to have you come down to our program for a presentation and Q&A with our staff. We’d love to have them see what a sensitive and caring unit can look like."


Report on Massachusetts - November 2005


December 8, 2005

Paul Bowman, CMA
Director, Boston NAMA
Massachusetts NAMA

Report on Massachusetts
November 2005

This author as a member of the Massachusetts Dept of Public Heath Consumer Advisory Board gave a presentation on methadone treatment to the board. Sharon Dembinski,RN, MSN, PNP, CMA NENAMAMOM and Dana Moulton, CMA MA NAMA helped by taking questions about MAT treatment after the presentation. It went very well and many members stated they never knew about the science behind methadone treatment and thought it made patients high. Hopefully this will begin to educate the the recovery community about methadone treatment and begin to change attitudes.

Other recent accomplishment include:

1. Paul Bowman and Maureen Neville, CMA MA NAMA after several years have finally got a commitment from the state methadone authority to meet with the group of Massachusetts NAMA advocates. This includes quarterly meetings between the department and MA NAMA to continue dialogue regarding important issues. This is a tremendous accomplishment and has the potential for having a real impact on methadone treatment.

2. Paul Bowman has become certified as a First Responders for people with addiction issues from the states emergency response center. In this capacity he would be called upon by the Massachusetts FEMA if they needed to counsel people after a disaster or crisis. The course was taught by a doctor who counseled 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina responders. Massachusetts NAMA through Paul Bowman have requested that methadone patients be included in the states disaster planning units.

3. Maureen Neville and Paul Bowman after a year of discussion with HMI regarding a brochure to be given to patients who need help with problems they may have with their clinic. The brochure is designed to guide patients to resources that will help them in resolving a problem that they can not do on their own.

4. MA NAMA is going to be meeting with Jan Kaufman who is president of the providers association and represents AATOD in the state. MS Kaufman agreed to meet with Dana Moulton and Paul Bowman about clinics having a more uniform fair approach to take home medication and fee tox policy.

5. This month four (4) patient grievances were resolved to a favorable outcome for the patients and involved all of the Massachusetts NAMA team handling different cases.

Friday, December 02, 2005

New Orleans Update (11/8/2005)

November 8, 2005

The patients living in New Orleans and Mississippi are encountering a second traumatizing event. The programs in the area are self pay and typically a month treatment is anything from $200-300. Most patients have lost their jobs and while new jobs to clean up the area will be available patients are discovering that they do not have the money to pay for treatment. Up to 4000 patients could be facing a Feetox in the next month or two and I would suspect that most patients are very close to it now. Many have lost their homes and even family members, now at a most critical time they could receive a 10 to 30 days administrative withdrawal.

If you are facing a Feetox in the next month or two NAMA needs to know about it. Send your personal story to Joycelyn Woods at:

Put in the subject: Feetox in New Orleans.

Mark your message Priority.

Here is what to include:

A paragraph on your situation.
The name of your program.
The state you live in.
The amount of time you have left before you are not able to pay. Give an approximate date.
We do not need your name or any identifying information. Each story will be screened for any identifying data.

Update on Shelby County Alabama

December 2, 2005

Update on Shelby County Alabama

The Court of Appeals overturned the ruling that was blocking the Shelby County MTP from opening. Just about every state in the South needs more methadone programs and this will at least help patients in the area of Shelby County.

Susan Staats-Sidwell sent out a thank you to NAMA and everyone that helped this program open. Read the article in the Birmingham News.

Court OK's Methadone Clinic for Shelby. Birmingham News, October 22, 2005.

Original Posting: October 25, 2005

HBO's Methadonia Stigma Strikes Again

National Alliance of Methadone Advocates
Press Release

Contact: Joycelyn Woods MA-CMA
(212) 595-NAMA/6262

For Release: December 1, 2005

New York

HBO's Methadonia Stigma Strikes Again

On October 6, 2005 HBO premiered a "so-called" documentary called "Methadonia" directed by Michel Negroponte. To give you an idea of the tone of the movie here is the Press Release from its premier at the New York Film Festival September 23, 2005.

The 43rd New York Film Festival
September 23 - October 9, 2005

Sponsored by Sponsored by HSBC Private Bank, a division of HSBC USA, N.A., The New York Times, and Audi.


DV camera in hand, filmmaker Michel Negroponte takes us on an eye-opening tour of the borderland of recovering heroin addicts on methadone maintenance-a place where the seasons run together into one long rainy spell between an oblivious past and a receding future. There's Millie, who after 28 years of drug use now counsels recovering addicts; George, an ex-rocker dreaming of making a fresh start; Susie and Eddie, trying to take control of their lives before their new baby arrives; and Steve, a charming, formerly homeless man out to prove that rehab is possible. Weaving the stories of these and other lives together, Negroponte lays bare a system that seemingly offers addicts a way out of their affliction while in fact the treatment itself often becomes another kind of trap. 88 min. USA, 2005 An HBO Documentary Films Release.

Shown with Victoria Para Chino (Cary Fukunaga, USA/Mexico, 2004, 14 min).

One of NAMA greatest concerns is that this movie will become the definitive documentary on methadone because it confirms all the myths and misunderstandings. Therefore hoping that HBO would at least issue a disclaimer prior to the showing NAMA hand delivered a letter to their corporate offices in New York. If you saw the premier you know that no disclaimer was issued and HBO's reply to our letter was disappointing. HBO did not even have the consideration to contact NAMA regarding our concerns and only sent a form letter that was typical of a corporate response that said that feel they have no responsiblity in the response of family, friends and communities who view the movie. We are dissapointed as we hoped that HBO would at least attempt to repair some of the damage they were doing.

Read Nama's Letter to HBO

Read HBO's Response

What Can You Do?

Write to HBO

Tell them what you thought about the film. If you have a personal experience because of the film include it in your letter. (i.e. family and friends now want you to withdraw from methadone as that was the message in the movie, community used the film to block the opening of a clinic, etc.)

Home Box Office
1100 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036

MOST IMPORTANT Send a copy of your letter to the PRISM Awards.

These are awards given by the entertainment industry to recognize educational projects. We do not think that HBO deserves an award this year or in fact for many years considering the damage they have done.

PRISM Awards
Entertainment Industry Council
10635 Santa Monica Blvd. Ste. 100
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Send a copy Of your letter to HBO to SAMHSA and include a note asking them to issue a public statement about "Methadonia".

All the major professional organizations involved with methadone treatment have sent a letter to HBO and/or issued a press release with the exception of the federal government. While usually the government does not issue statements about such issues NAMA believes that in this case it is important. And since the government is involved with the PRISM Awards it becomes their responsiblity to issue a statement.

NAMA has sent a letter requesting a public statement and SAMHSA may need a little encouragement from patients and professionals.

Mr. Charles Curie, Administrator
1 Choke Cherry Road
Rockville, MD 20850

Below are some links to visit including the HBO Message Board where you will find a discussion about the movie and I would advise that as many patients and professionals as possible visit it.


HBO Message Board
Robert Newman's Letter to HBO
HBO Synopsis
Interview with Director Michel Negroponte
Download AATOD Press Release (pdf format)
Methadone Anonymous Support Forum (Negroponte visited the Forum 10/24/05)
Negroponte MA Forum Thread
The PRISM Awards

Originally Posted: October 20, 2005

Emergency Help for New Orleans

National Alliance of Methadone Advocates
Press Release

Contact: Joycelyn Woods MA-CMA (212) 595-NAMA/6262

For Release: September 1, 2005

New Orleans

Emergency Help for New Orleans

NAMA has responded to the New Orleans Emergency by creating a Forum at We Speak Methadone where information is posted and also where you can post information. If you are having trouble finding a clinic or getting medication here is where to look for information. Or if you are trying to find someone you can post a message here.

NAMA is working to keep any information from the various agencies posted and available for you.

Emergency Page

WSM Emergency Forum

Originally Posted: September 1, 2005

September is National Recovery Month

National Alliance of Methadone Advocates
Press Release

Contact: Joycelyn Woods MA-CMA
(212) 595-NAMA/6262

For Release:
August 28, 2005

September is National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month and NAMA declares 2005 as the Year for Methadone Patients to Claim Recovery. For way too long methadone patients have been denied to celebrate their recovery and this year will be the start of a new beginning.

Visit our Celebrate Recovery Page and Forum to post your accomplishments or to just celebrate Your Recovery.

Celebrate Recovery Month

Post your recovery story at the: Celebrate Recovery Forum

Original Posting: August 28, 2005

West Virginia Proposes New Regulations

July 14, 2005


West Virginia Proposes New Regulations

West Virginia is proposing new methadone regulations. Check them out on WV Methadone Advocacy Projects website and find out what to do.

WV Methadone Advocacy Project.

Proposed WV Regulations DRAFT.

Original Posting: July 14, 2005

First Article Anniversary


July 5, 2005

New York

First Article Anniversary

Forty-eight years ago the first article "Heroin Addiction - A Metabolic Disease" was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine by Drs. Dole and Nyswander.

The original paper on methadone has been published and re-published a number of times. But over the years it is often cited but the original paper is easily forgotten after all this time. Here is an opportunity to download it and read it. It has some surprising insight considering it was written in 1967.

Heroin Addiction - A Metabolic Disease. Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 120, July, 1967. (pdf format)*

* Note: Attached to this publication are some files from the early project.

Originally Posted: July 5, 2005

Shelf Life of Methadone


June 25, 2005

New York

Shelf Life of Methadone

AATOD has issued a policy statement about the shelf life of methadone. The article includes recommendations about the diluting vehicle, storage time and temperature.

Shelf Life for Methadone Hydrochloride Products. June 11, 2004, AATOD Policy Statement.

Originally Posted: June 25, 2005

New GAO Report on Drug Screens


May 28, 2005

Washington, D.C.

New GAO Report on Drug Screens

Testimony by Robert J. Cramer, managing director, Office of Special Investigations, before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, House Committee on Energy and Commerce. GAO-05-653T, May 17.

Drug Tests: Products to Defraud Drug Use Screening Tests Are Widely Available , by Robert J. Cramer, managing director, Office of Special Investigations.

Originally Posted: May 28, 2005

Patient Speaks About Recovery


April 30, 2005


On The Road To Recovery

Former drug addict Rick Chase is a regular at the methadone clinic, located in the Victoria Health Centre, in downtown Fredericton. He says methadone has helped him kick his drug habit and get on with his life.

Read a positive story about methadone, published in Canada.

ON ROAD TO RECOVERY. The Daily Gleaner, April 23, 2005.

Originally Posted: April 30, 2005

Pain Management for Buprenorphrine Patients


December 10, 2004

New York

Reckitt Benckiser Letter About Pain Management and Buprenorphrine

This letter is the reply to a letter that NAMA sent regarding pain management and buprenorphrine patients. Reckitt Benckiser's response includes guidelines for the treatment of acute and chronic pain.

Reckitt Benckiser Letter. November 22, 2004. (pdf format)

Originally Posted: December 10, 2004

Alabama is Under Fire!!!!


October 24, 2004

Shelby County, Alabama

Alabama is Under Fire!!!!

Alabama does not have very many programs and losing one for patients can mean losing their treatment. This is just what is happening in Alabama a program was needed and followed all the rules including getting a Certificate of Need -- except when a judge steps in! Read the press release and newspaper articles about this difficult situation.

Press Release. Alabama Program is Under Fire, October 27, 2004

Letter to Sherrif Curry. Gary Mandel, Maryland NAMA asks the sheriff to reconsider.

Original Posting: October 27, 2004

New Publication on Methadone-associated Mortality


October 20, 2004

Washington, D.C.

New Publication on Methadone-associated Mortality

This report summarizes the data used by assessment experts to evaluate the nature and scope of methadone-associated mortality, as well as to present their findings and recommendations.

Methadone-Associated Mortality: Report of a National Assessment. September 1, 2004.

Originally Posted: October 20, 2004

President’s Recovery Month Proclamation, 2005

National Alliance of Methadone Advocates

August 18, 2005

President’s Recovery Month Proclamation

Whereas, substance use disorders are a serious and treatable public health problem affecting thousand of Americans of all ages, races, ethnic backgrounds and having huge medical ,societal and economic costs; and

Whereas, methadone treatment is the “gold standard” for all drug and alcohol treatments and yet is misunderstood because of years of prejudice and ignorance directed at it; and

Whereas, hundreds of thousands of methadone patients have been restored to functional lives and support their families as productive citizens; and

Whereas, methadone patients themselves have born the brunt of the prejudice directed to methadone treatment and are rarely told or treated as recovering persons; and

Whereas, just as drug and alcohol problems effect all areas of the community so to does recovery depends on the cooperation and support of family. friends, neighbors, community leaders, health care professionals and advocates; and

Whereas, methadone advocates throughout the nation are committed to reversing the stigma directed towards at methadone treatment and especially patients; and

Whereas, this September 2005 will be the 16th year that Recovery Month has been celebrated joining together recovering persons to celebrate; and

Whereas, with the theme “Join the Voice for Recovery: Healing Lives, Families and Communities” the 2005 observance of Recovery Month calls attention to the positive impact of treatment and the need for healing the prejudice that methadone patients have faced in their recovery; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I Joycelyn Sue Woods, President of the National Alliance of Methadone Advocates do hereby proclaim September 2005 as -


to encourage and promote a greater understanding of methadone therapy and medication-assisted-treatments and to recognize the recovery of methadone patients.

Original Posting: August 18, 2005


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This is the National Alliance of Methadone Advocates President's Blog to for methadone patients, former patients, their families and healthcare professionals. This blog will provide information and announcements about NAMA, methadone advocacy and treatment.

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