Methadone Maintenance Treatment Essay

1118 words - 5 pages

Opiate addiction is a major individual and public health problem. The intangible cost of broken families, unstable communities, increased crime due to drug seeking behaviors and most importantly increased disease transmission, mean that opiate addiction is a concern for addicted individuals and society. (Methadone, 2010) Heroin addiction and the mode of administration is frightening because people are knowingly engaging in life threatening behavior with the sharing of injection needles, a practice known as “shooting”. Heroin use is often associated with blood borne diseases and infections, due to sharing of needles. The supply of illegal drugs will always rise to meet the demand, regardless of law enforcement efforts and the “emergence of AIDS in the 1980’s gave urgency to treat heroin addicts” as reported by National Institute of Drug Abuse.
When reviewing the Federal Regulations of Methadone Treatment, it states that: Methadone is used to treat opiate addiction by detoxification and maintenance, Methadone maintenance treatment is usually provided as an outpatient treatment program. Programs are similar in operation and all include a location for dispensing medication, offices for confidential counseling, an examining room and an area designated for administrative and non-clinical personnel may take placeunit have four common features
Methadone is used as a substitution to Heroin and prevents opioid intoxication and withdrawal. Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) is undoubtedly the most common prescribed treatment for heroin addiction. Just as with medication management of other serious chronic illness, using methadone seeks to support patients in improving their quality of life. Addiction science has come a long way, but old ideas are still hanging around. Regrettably, “one third of Americans still regard addiction as a moral failing or lack of will power, rather than a treatable disease. People still want to see addicts punished rather than rehabilitated.’ (Sack, 2012) The misunderstanding about a disease concept of addiction is part of the reason why Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) has been met with hesitation by the public. Theodore Dalrymple, a columnist for the Sunday Telegraph, a newspaper serving the United Kingdom explains:
“The rationale for substituting methadone for heroin is complex. First it establishes addicts on a regular controlled regime of medication from which it may be possible slowly to withdraw them. Second, it prevents at least some of them from injecting themselves with heroin, which is dangerous and, if needles are shared can lead to infection with the AIDS virus. Third, because it is prescribed free, it reduces the motives for committing crimes.”
An even bigger controversial preventative health strategy is needle-exchange programs, in which users of injectable drugs are given sterile needles to help them avoid contracting and transmitting diseases like AIDS and hepatitis. This approach of...

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