Saturday, March 10, 2007


National Alliance of Methadone Advocates
Press Release
Contact Person: Joycelyn Woods, President

For Release:
March 10, 2007

It is not uncommon for individuals with a long history of illicit opiate use to remain in methadone treatment as a long term patient. Many often say that without methadone treatment they would probably be dead. Other forms of treatment were not effective and they had come to believe that they would die an "addict". Numerous studies have demonstrated that the majority of persons who leave methadone treatment revert to illicit heroin or other opioid use in relatively short time though of course there are exceptions.

NIDA and NIH considers "addiction" as a chronic relapsing brain disorder. A full text article, The Neurobiology of Addictive Behaviors and its Relationship to Methadone Maintenance by Stimmel and Kreek is available from,

You get an excellent idea of the benefits of methadone maintenance by visiting a petition web site that was recently established by NAMA to counter anti-methadone groups trying to restrict this valuable therapy. Read the patient reports on the petition and you will get a significant understanding of the benefits to the patients of this form of therapy.

However recently there have been an increase in methadone overdose deaths attributed to an increase in prescribing methadone for pain medication. Also methadone has been in the media recently adding to the fervor and sensationalism.

The change in regulations created a more realistic situation for both programs and patients seeking recovery. However recently several sensational websites are promoting stricter regulations on methadone treatment in an effort to end the increase overdose deaths. These measures will be ineffective as most of the deaths are due to a number of factors including mishandling of medication. In an effort to protect our life saving treatment and to make methadone safer for pain management NAMA recommends education rather than restrictions.

We are also asking patients and their families to sign a petition "Methadone Patients Against Hysteria and Further Restrictions". The petition in brief, reads as follows:

We are Methadone Patients, Providers, Families and Friends AGAINST the Hysteria which is calling for Further Restrictions on the Prescribing of Methadone."

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