Monday, February 09, 2009

Editorial Comment: AATODs Letter to Treatment Magazine

January 9, 2009

Ted Jackson Editor and Publisher
Treatment Magazine
Post Office Box 3 196
Lantana, Florida 33465

Dear Mr. Jackson:

I am writing with regard to the "Publisher's Note," "Another Use for Methadone?!!," which was published in the November 2, 2008 edition of Treatment Magazine.

You note that methadone is " of the most studied drugs on earth. "It would be helpful for you to read some of the literature because you would find that there is absolutely no scientific evidence that supports the statement that methadone " ...rots your teeth." It is useful to cite a statement from the National Institutes of Health Consensus Statement of November 1997.

"Many of the barriers to effective use of methadone maintenance Treatment in the treatment of opioid dependence stem from misperceptions and stigmas attached to opioid dependence the people who are addicted those who treat them and the settings in which services are provided."

An impartial observer might conclude that your "Publisher's Note" further stigmatized this long-proven and effective treatment for opioid addiction. The Association welcomes the expansion of buprenorphine medication and an increasing number of opioid treatment programs are using buprenorphine products in addition to methadone to treat chronic opioid addiction. With regard to methadone being antiquated, you should know that there is a major expansion in the use of this medication to treat chronic opioid addiction in Europe, China and Vietnam with an interest to use this medication in other developing nations.

You also indicate that "...the principal use for methadone is as a maintenance replacement for other opiates." This has been the case for the past four decades to present, there are approximately 260,000 patients being treated with methadone in 1,203 registered and certified OTPs. There are more than 700,000 patients who receive prescriptions for methadone from private physicians in treating chronic pain.

After years of struggling to support rigorous scientific evaluations of medications and to promote evidence-based treatment for opioid addiction, it is extremely disheartening to have the publisher of a treatment magazine for the addiction industry make such unfounded comments.

Sincerely yours,

Mark W. Parrino, MPA

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