Saturday, February 27, 2010

Help Identify What Patients Do To Make Recovery Work

February 28, 2010

Stabilized patients who have been in methadone maintenance for more than one year (with negative urinalysis tests for all illicit substances except methadone).

Have you ever considered your status as a long term methadone patient, AKA elite methadone patient to be an achievement worth celebrating? I do and so do many others. And, it is! One problem is that fewer patients remain in methadone maintenance for longer periods of time. It took me several episodes of treatment before I began to understand and distinguish the differences in value between the medication (methadone); the modality (methadone maintenance); and the way methadone is dispensed (the methadone program or clinic system). So, I became an advocate for better and more information to patients about how methadone maintenance works and involved on several levels in improving the way methadone is dispensed; the clinic system.

About me:

My name is Lisa Mojer-Torres and I have been a patient for 20 years. I tried to withdraw from methadone maintenance three or four times before learning about its pharmacology. Since stabilizing on my optimal dose, I have become a practicing attorney, (admitted in NY and NJ) and an advocate for methadone maintenance as a modality and methadone patients as victims of stigma and discrimination. I have a life that includes rewarding employment, a beautiful family, and our own home.

This project:

Currently, I am writing an article with leading recovery expert that analyzes methadone maintenance as a legitimate path into and through “recovery” from active addiction to heroin and other opioids. There are several uses for methadone and even different stages within methadone maintenance pharmacotherapy. However, once a patient and his/her doctor identify the patient’s optimal dose of methadone (the particular dose that affords the patient the maximum benefits methadone offers in managing the chronic disease of opioid addiction), the patient remains on that dose with the exception of a rare taper. The patient has achieved “optimal dose stabilization”. Without the distractions of withdrawal symptoms, or the obsessive cravings for opioids (and an opioid blockade as well) the patient is in the strongest position to leave the life of active opioid addiction behind, transitioning from treatment to recovery. It is this transition that I am interested in documenting.

Why I am reaching out to you:

In order to document the transition from treatment to recovery, I believe it is imperative to go directly to the source and seek information from those patients who’ve succeeded with methadone maintenance about how they succeeded. I am also interested in learning what resources would have made your experience easier. I am interested in learning what and whether you think achieving optimal dose stabilization has played any role in your life and/or the lives of other patients. The three-part article will conclude with a statement that opioid addicts who achieve optimal dose stabilization with methadone are on an equal par to alcoholics who stop drinking and others who stop using, etc. Mostly, I am interested in learning the various skills you used in overcoming ignorance about methadone and how you managed to sustain recovery.


I don’t need to know your name or any other identifying information for this project. At any rate I am restricted by confidentiality laws. Your treatment program was kind enough to cooperate in allowing this notice to be posted in the OTP, but no one is under any obligation to respond. However, unless and until the public becomes aware that there is a significant population of stabilized in methadone maintenance patients in recovery, we will continue to be defined by those still struggling with active addiction. I would be grateful if you would spare a few moments of your time to participate in this anecdotal survey. I promise your time and effort will not be wasted and I will do my best to create a resource that speaks directly to the current generation of opioid addicts who, still stuck in the grips of active addiction have not been unable to maximize methadone’s full potential. It’s my hope that by offering to share our experiential jewels of information, others will believe a life in recovery is possible, even for them.

IF YOU ARE WILLING TO PARTICIPATE IN AN E-MAIL EXCHANGE OR A PHONE INTERVIEW, PLEASE CONTACT ME, Lisa Mojer-Torres VIA E-MAIL @ OR TELEPHONE at my home/office @ (609) 671-1995 either 7AM-9AM weekday mornings or 7PM-9PM weekday eves. (I work during the day). Call any time over the weekend; I will do my best to hang around the house over the next couple of weekends. But, in the event you reach our voice mail, PLEASE either leave a message providing instructions about how to reach you OR call me back. My goal is to complete interviews by March 7th, latest, so please try and act upon this ASAP. If you wait, we all lose.


Lisa Mojer-Torres (Using Google, you can check out more information about my advocacy efforts on the national level)
Telephone: (609) 608 671-1995

Monday, February 15, 2010

Howard Stephen Lotsof (3/1/1943 - 1/31/2010)

National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery
Press Release

Contact Persons:
Joycelyn Woods, Executive Director,
Roxanne Baker, President,
Phone/Fax: 212-595-NAMA

For Release:
February 15, 2010

Howard Stephen Lotsof (3/1/1943 - 1/31/2010)

It is with great sadness that NAMA Recovery announces the passing of our long time board member and fellow advocate Howard Lotsof. He passed away Sunday, January 31, 1010 at 6 PM in Staten Island University Hospital.

Howard was an important part of NAMA Recovery and methadone advocacy. He came to us because of his experience in developing Ibogaine and having to work with methadone programs. They had sure changed since he was a patient many years before. He believed that treatment should be a positive experience and so in typical Howard fashion he could not hold himself back to set things right. He helped a lot of people with issues and problems that they had during the years that he was with NAMA Recovery and his presence will be greatly missed.

But Howard also had another life as an Ibogaine advocate. He single handed -- as a citizen with no background in drug development -- convinced the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) to provide funding for Ibogaine studies in the US. Only large pharmaceutical companies have the resources to accomplish this -- and of course Howard Lotsof.

The funeral was Friday, February 5, 1010 at Harmon Funeral Home in Staten Island. He will be intered at the Fairview Cemetery, 1852 Victory Blvd., Staten Island.

He was a nobel and inspiring man and we send Norma and his family our most heartfelt sympathy on his passing. We will miss him very much.

Note: His wife Norma Lotsof is asking for assistance for the gravestone. Donations can be sent to: Ms. Norma Lotsof, 46 Oxford Place, Staten Island, NY 10301

Howard S. Lotsof, 66, discoverer of the anti-addictive effect of ibogaine, died of liver cancer on Sunday January 31, 2010 in Staten Island.
Mr. Lotsof was the first individual to observe the effect of ibogaine, a naturally occurring plant alkaloid with a history of use as a ritual hallucinogen in Africa, in detoxification from heroin. He subsequently originated patents for the use of ibogaine in treating addictions, including opioids, cocaine and amphetamine, alcohol, and nicotine.
Mr. Lotsof’s work initiated substantial research into ibogaine and related compounds in the mainstream scientific community. He provided pilot data to the National Institute on Drug Abuse that became the basis for a program of research on ibogaine that generated scores of peer-reviewed publications and led to the approval by the US Food and Drug Administration of a Phase 1 clinical trial. Beginning with research funding provided by Mr. Lotsof 25 years ago, Stanley D. Glick, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Center for Neuropharmacology and Neuroscience Albany Medical College, has produced a body of work on ibogaine and related compounds that presently includes over 60 peer-reviewed publications and has been supported for more than two decades by the National Institutes of Health. Mr. Lotsof himself authored or coauthored scientific papers on ibogaine in respected academic publishing venues such as the Journal of Ethnopharmacology and the American Journal on Addictions. These accomplishments are all the more extraordinary in view of the fact that Mr. Lotsof, a graduate of NYU who majored in film was without a doctoral level degree.
The FDA-approved clinical study was never completed due to contractual disputes, which was Mr. Lotsof’s deepest professional disappointment. Nonetheless, an expanding global context of ibogaine use for the treatment of addiction continues to exist in medical and non-medical settings across the world, and ibogaine continues to be studied as a paradigm for fundamental research and the development of new treatment for addiction.
Mr. Lotsof is survived by his wife, Norma, and two sisters Rosalie Falato and Holly Weiland.

Nominations Open for the Richard Lane/Robert Holden Methadone Advocacy Award

National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery
Press Release

Contact Persons:
Joycelyn Woods, Executive Director,
Roxanne Baker, President,
Phone/Fax: 212-595-NAMA

For Release:
February 15, 2010

Nominations Open for the Richard Lane/Robert Holden Methadone Advocacy Award

Richard Lane was a long-term heroin user who, upon release from prison in 1967, was instrumental in establishing one of the Nation’s first methadone treatment programs. In 1974, he became the Executive Director of Man Alive and later served as Vice President of the American Methadone Treatment Association and as Vice Chairman of the Governor’s Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Maryland. Mr. Lane was a passionate advocate for methadone treatment and, by disclosing his own treatment experiences, provided inspiration to patients and colleagues alike.

Robert Holden was also a recovering heroin user, who later became the Director of PIDARC, an outpatient methadone treatment program in the District of Columbia. He was a friend of Richard Lane and succeeded Richard Lane’s term of office as the Vice President of the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence. This award was established in 1995 and recognizes extraordinary achievements in patient advocacy.

The following criteria should be applied in making your selection:

  • Only one (1) nominee can be submitted to the Conference Awards Committee. There may be a number of nominees, however only one (1) “consensus” nominee may receive this honor.
  • The nominee must have been involved in the field of methadone advocacy for a period of five (5) years.
  • The nominee must have been actively engaged in methadone advocacy for a period of five (5) years.
  • The nominee must have made meaningful and consistent contributions, which have had a significant impact on opioid treatment within a state or region of the United States.
  • For each nominee a Nomination Form must be completed and submitted with two (2) Letters of Support. The Nomination Form is attached to this announcement and can also be downloaded from the NAMA Recovery website
  • Additional information about the award can be found at the NAMA Recovery website
  • NAMA Recovery will be responsible for collecting all the submissions for nomination, selecting a committee of advocates that will decide on the final candidate. The Candidate’s Name, Nomination Form and at least two (2) Letters of Support describing the nominee’s achievements will be submitted to the Awards Committee for the final approval.
  • The Deadline for Submission is February 26, 2010. The completed Nomination Form along with at least two (2) Letters of Support should be sent to Joycelyn Woods at

Previous Winners of the Award

2001, St. Louis Joycelyn Woods

2007, Atlanta Anthony Scro

2009, New York Walter Ginter

This Award will be bestowed upon the recipient during the Awards Banquet Ceremony of October 26,2010 during AATOD's next National Conference which will convene in Chicago at the Hilton Hotel.

The recipient will be provided with a roundtrip Coach Class airfare in addition to up to two (2) nights in the hotel. The individual will also be able to attend the Conference.

Deadline: Wednesday, February 26, 2010
Email Nominations To:
Joycelyn Woods

If you have any questions about the award contact Joycelyn Woods at or by telephone at (718) 993-3397.