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Friday Feedback: Methadone Maintenance Does Work


Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Zenith in response Eric Schneider's "The War on Drugs Redux." Zenith writes:

I have to disagree that the methadone experiemnt prved less promising than expected, or that it was “failing”. In fact MMT is the MOST successful treatment method for opioid addiction available today. One of the primary reasons that later methadone clinics were less successful than Dole’s earlier ones was that Dole was careful to ensure the patients were adequately dosed, whereas later clinics, anxious to appear strict and punitive, lowered doses to the point that they were virtually ineffective for most patients.

The average required dose is 80-120 mgs, yet in the 1980’s, average dose dropped to around 40-50mgs for most patients. Not only did this not provide the narcotic blockade (which usually kicks in at around 80mgs)that keeps patients from feeling any effects from other opiates, but it also leaves them feeling extremely sick for half the day, rendering them unable to work and far more vulnerable to relapse. Properly dosed patients do much better overall, as studies have consistently shown,

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