Friday, May 26, 2006

Buprenorphine Advocacy Newsletter


May 26, 2006

The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment - NAABT publishes an advocacy newsletter.

To add yourself to the mailing list, please either write or send an email to:


A Critical Review of the Evidence for Policy Makers


May 26, 2006

A Critical Review of the Evidence for Policy Makers
Join Together

A review of hundreds of studies examining substance abuse treatment found that treatment is not only effective in reducing alcohol and drug use, it also helps lower crime and healthcare costs. The report offers a helpful resource for coalitions looking to demonstrate the value of treatment to their community or for coalitions looking to enhance their treatment capacity.

Download Here

Download: 380K; Publication Year: 2005


Alcohol & Drug Problem Association of North America
307 North Main
St. Charles, mo 63301
Phone: 314-589-6702

Specialized Care for Expectant Mothers on Methadone (NENAMA-MOM) (Join Together, March 13, 2006)

Specialized Care for Expectant Mothers on Methadone
Join Together
March 13, 2006

The Mothers on Methadone (MOM) Program at Kent Hospital in Warwick, Rhode Island dispels the stigma facing pregnant and postpartum women in methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) by providing them and their newborns with specialized education, support services and follow-up care, the Addiction Treatment Forum reported in its Winter 2006 issue.

Prior to delivery, pregnant women in the MOM Program receive specialized addiction counseling, prenatal education classes and assistance meeting healthcare needs. Specially trained staff provide support and explanations after the delivery to help new mothers deal with the infant's treatment for opioid withdrawal, or neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which lasts 23 days on average. Phone consultations and referrals to community-based services continue after the mothers are discharged.

The MOM Program was begun in July 2005 by Sharon Dembinski, a pediatric nurse practitioner, certified methadone advocate and mother of five who first learned about addiction through her son's dependence on heroin. Dembinski is also the founder of the first chapter of the National Alliance of Methadone Advocates (NAMA) specifically for mothers on methadone, called the New England NAMA-MOM chapter.

"So far, the Moms who've delivered are doing quite well, with the majority remaining in MMT and relapse-free," said Dembinski. She hopes that her program can serve as a national model and as proof that adequate methadone doses during pregnancy are essential to the health of mothers and their infants.

Join Together, March 13, 2006

Saturday, May 20, 2006

NAMA Restores Medicaid Transportation Checks to NYC Patients


May 20, 2006

Re: Medicaid, New York

Last December NYC had a Transit Strike and Medicaid patients received their transportation checks as usual. Or at least until Medicaid realized that patients were being paid for subway transportation that did not exist for 3 or 4 days. Medicaid viewed the error as fraud. It did not matter that many patients had to take cabs which cost them more than a subway fare. The only consideration was that patients were being paid for something that was not there.

In their great wisdon Medicaid stopped all transportation checks. Patients began to complain that they had not received their checks. Four dollars a day is a lot for someone with a fixed income. But Medicaid was not understanding and continued to stretch the whole affair out.

Then the expected thing happened: a patient was arrested for jumping the turnstile. That was it! Walter Ginter at this point called the Medicaid offices and read them the NAMA Riot Act. And within hours programs were being notified that the checks were being released. So much for procrastination.

By the end of May all Medicaid Transportation should be up to date.

Methadonia Video Will Include NAMA Advocates


May 20, 2006

Methadonia Video Will Include NAMA Advocates

In spite of the harm that "Methadonia" has done to patients. The film producer Michael Negroponte in an error to try and make things better will be including with the video package additional interviews that include Walter Ginter and Lisa Torres discussing methadone, stigma and advocacy.

While this can not undo the damage that was done it is a serious attempt to at least show that the patients in the film were not typical. Showing of the film can't be taken back so this addition to the film will at least give persons who have not seen it another view.

Short Summary ATTOD and International Harm Reduction Conference

May 20, 2006
Short Summary
ATTOD and International Harm Reduction Conference

As in the past 2 conferences the CMA Training went well with close to 100 new or recertifying CMAs.

The workshop presentation was excellent with Sharon Dembinski, Paul Bowman and Donna Schoen all presenting on different aspects of advocacy. Rokki Baker chaired the workshop.

This years Advocate of the Year Award went to Sharon Dembinski for her work with the MOM Program.

In addition to the Advocate of the Year Award three NAMA advocates were honored with lifetime achievement awards. Donna Schoen chair of NAMA's oldest chapter was given an award for the contributions she has made and for just hanging in! John and Barbara Finger were also honored for the work they have done often being the only help for patients in the Southwest.

Vancouver 2006

The International Harm Reduction Conference this year had NAMA advocates just about everywhere. Joycelyn Woods, Rokki Baker and Becki Ballard all presented. Bill Nelles formerly of The Alliance in the UK helped with organizing the conference this year and was recipient of the Rolleston Award. Congratulations Bill!

There was also 2 historic meetings at the conference. First NAMA had the very first Affiliate Organizational Meeting similar to the chapter meeting at ATTOD. Following what we usually do at ATTOD and International Advocate of the Year Award was given to Bill Nelles for his work in Canada and a Lifetime Achievement to Joergen Kjaer.

Congratulations to all our recipients of awards we think you are pretty special!

Finally a meeting was organized to create a Canadian group that will be based on the structure and beliefs of NAMA primarily to deal with methadone issues in Canada. Bill Nelles asked everyone to attend including NAMA and BF because we will be helping them along so they can function as an organization as soon as possible. The Canadian methadone system is not friendly and patients are abused consistently with no where to turn for help. Enters NAMA and the new organization to change things.

So in all these were some very productive weeks. And after a rest we will have some work ahead of us this summer.

Monday, May 08, 2006



May 8, 2006


The methadone maintenance program of the Weill Cornell Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital in collaboration with the Hepatology Department is now offering the highest quality hepatitis C treatment to methadone patients who reside in New York State, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the New England States. Patients who are dually infected with HIV will also be eligible for treatment. This unique program, the first of its kind in the United States, integrates methadone treatment with Hepatitis C and HIV medications and psychiatric care. Treatment is provided by a prestigious medical and social work team affiliated with this world renowned institution.

The methadone maintenance program is one of the most progressive in the country offering to qualified patients, methadone medical maintenance. In this program qualified patients see their physician in a private office and obtain a month's supply of methadone from a neighborhood pharmacy. There is no observed ingestion of methadone in this program. Patients will also be treated by medical specialists at Cornell for Hepatitis C or for both HIV and Hepatitis C. If patients are not eligible for medical maintenance, they will receive methadone treatment in a new modern clinic with a concerned professional team consisting of internists, psychiatrists, nurses and social workers. The medical and psychiatric care for the treatment of Hepatitis C and HIV in either venue will be of the same high quality.

Payment for treatment will be assessed on an individual basis. Medicaid and Medicare are accepted. Forms for private insurance will be completed for reimbursement to the patient.

Ann B. Beeder, M.D., Medical Director

For further information, please call:

Dr. Eugenia Curet, Administrative Director Tel. 212-746-1252
Mr. Kim Alexander, Clinic Supervisor Tel. 212-746-1276
Mr. Hector Rodriguez, Clinic Supervisor Tel. 212-746-7744