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The System Sucks

answered 12:05 AM EST, Fri May 11, 2012
anonymous anonymous
My brother is addicted to heroin and crack. Sometimes he goes on methadone almost just for a break from needing to take heroin but he never stops taking crack. I think the whole system stinks. How is it helping him to give him methadone if he is just going to be a crack addict still? It seems to me like it is just cheap and easy for the government to shelve these people on methadone so they won’t be such a problem in society. Helping them costs too much. I think it is terrible. Why is it legal to get these people addicted to methadone but it is not legal to let them get addicted to heroin. What is the difference really?

Lita Perna Says...

Lita Perna L. Perna
MA, Family and Community Counseling

You bring up some excellent points. Your anger and frustration is justified.

You’re right, someone on methadone is less of a problem to society…they’re often also less of a problem to themselves.

I don’t know what you mean when you say helping ‘these people’ costs too much. What kind of help are you talking about?

For some people, methadone and counseling IS help. For some, it stops the ripping and running lifestyle and reduces the risk of overdose and disease.

As you know, methadone stops opiate withdrawal symptoms.  It can normalize lives. Some people gradually reduce their doses and stop completely. I’ve worked with professionals who were hooked on heroin, went on methadone were able to gradually taper off and resume their careers. For them, methadone was a blessing.

Methadone can also help those accidently and inadvertently addicted to pain meds. I’ve seen blue-haired old ladies standing in methadone lines waiting for their dose.

It’s not the same with crack. Crack is a whole different ball game.

There is currently no therapy drug available to use as a safe "substitute" to treat crack addiction. An equivalent like methadone for heroin addiction does not exist for crack addicts.

I don’t know why heroin is illegal (once upon a time it was legal) and methadone is not.  Maybe because unlike heroin, which you need to snort, smoke or shoot, methadone is ingested orally and blocks withdrawal longer. Prescribed and controlled doses of methadone area also safer. You know what you're getting.

The system sucks. Addiction sucks. Treatments that fail, suck. Having an addicted bother sucks.

Now I have a question for you: Who are you madder at, the system or your brother?

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Page last updated May 11, 2012

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