Methadone clinic wins right to open in Reading

There are 20 comments on the Jun 19, 2007, The Morning Call story titled Methadone clinic wins right to open in Reading. In it, The Morning Call reports that:

Court sides with Bethlehem Township-based center. When Glen Cooper sought to open a methadone clinic in Reading, city officials said no, citing a 1999 Pennsylvania statute that barred such clinics from ...

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Lou

Pottstown, PA

#1 Jun 19, 2007
Who would want this anywhere near their home?
HARMD

Indianapolis, IN

#2 Jun 19, 2007
Methadone is now the #2 Killer Drug in the U.S. Previously methadone has been used exclusively for replacement therapy for heroin patients and death was thought to be an effect of the accumulation of many years of drug abuse. With the surge in pain medication misuse and abuse more patients are being referred to methadone clinics and physicians treating pain who believe the myth that methadone is safer or non addictive because of it’s use with weaning addicts from heroin. Methadone is more addictive then any other pain medication including heroin and because of it’s extremely long half life, cardio toxic risks, numerous fatal drug interactions, dosages based on tolerance, and small margin of error. Up until Nov 2006 the government and pharmaceutical companies have been suppressing the numerous health and fatality risks related to methadone.
there are between 800,000 & 900,000 (some stats give diff numbers) heroin addicts in the U.S and 1,881 people died from heroin in the U.S. in 2004.
there are 200,000 people on methadone for drug treatment and I don't have the number of people on it for pain but even if we double the 200,000 and assume it's 400,000 total people on methadone there were 3,849 deaths in 2004
It looks like the "gold standard" is killing more then the drug its supposed to save people from!!!!
Every day 10.9 people die from Methadone (according to 2004 stats)
We (the families of methadone victims) are requesting new laws surrounding who can prescribe Methadone, clinic rules and regulations as well as stiffer penalties for those caught selling their take home doses. The whole methadone maintenance system needs an overhauling. We cannot continue to allow a legal medication to be killing more people then the illegal drugs. Our government cannot be allowed to use tax dollars to fund their legal drug dealing operations.
We are asking government agencies to enact stricter guidelines in prescribing methadone for any reason. It must be mandatory that all doctors be certified and trained in the pharmacology of methadone; inpatient stays must be required during induction to methadone; all staff be extensively trained in monitoring methadone patients for symptoms of toxicity. Clinic patients should be tested weekly for legal and illegal drugs that are taken with methadone to get “ hi gh” or experience “euphoria” such as benzodiazepines, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana etc… and face severe consequences or mandatory detoxification from the methadone program after 3 dirty urines. Selling of take home doses must result in termination from methadone program permanently throughout the U.S. When presenting inebriated at clinic, clinic should also document such activity as well as prevent client from driving. Take home doses for all patients receiving methadone should be eliminated thus preventing the risk of diversion or precautions such as pill safe should be implemented. http://www.thepillsafe.com/
Current statistics show that nearly 4000 people a year die from methadone. These deaths are mostly happening to pain management and detoxification patients’ wit hi n the first 10 days of taking initial dose. Most of these deaths are related to methadone prescribed with other medications that react as additives with the methadone. Diversion of methadone is a serious problem because it lands t hi s most deadly drug on streets. Statistics also state that methadone is contributing to more deaths nationwide then heroin and only second to cocaine deaths.
The potential of abuse, diversion, and overdose to new patients being prescribed methadone is overwhelming. The unique properties of methadone, it's long half life, and it's negative interaction with numerous drugs make it an optimal choice as a last result treatment for chronic pain and addiction.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.
Sincerely
Melissa Zuppardi

“smarty pants”

Since: Apr 07

Bethlehem, PA

#4 Jun 19, 2007
Have you ever seen the patients standing out in front of the New Directions Clinic in LVIP? I have. There are typically a handful of them at any given time of the day standing around outside smoking and then there are the others who stand there waiting for the bus. I used to work in that industrial park and I'd walk for exercise. I always crossed the street to avoid walking past them. I didn't want to walk through the fog of smoke, but I also didn't feel safe. I agree that these clinics should be kept away from people's homes and children. Kids don't need to see that.
needmorecandy

Bethlehem, PA

#5 Jun 19, 2007
"I didn't want to walk through the fog of smoke"

Please tell me what this conversation about methadone has to do with yet another whiner complaining about someone smoking OUTSIDE! Good for you for walking around the fog of smoke. Maybe the next time you go to someone's house you won't wear perfume, body lotions, or $hit in their home. All (3) of those things make me sick to my stomach.
Smartie

Philadelphia, PA

#6 Jun 19, 2007
New Directions charges $400 per month cash per client. They RAKE it in! Of course he wants to open another clinic---daddy needs a new pair of shoes!
marie

Nazareth, PA

#7 Jun 19, 2007
Harmd, I was going to bring up your points, you stated them very well. It has long been my opinion that methodone is more harmful than heroin because it actually gets into the bones of the user. Kicking meth is much harder. Politics at their finest here.
anon

Philadelphia, PA

#8 Jun 19, 2007
this is an absolute atrocity if the above stated facts are true. I really thought that methadone was a good thing for heroine addicts but apparently not. Although I don't take many things face value and I would like to do more research. I don't know how much more harm can be done to reading...it is pretty much a drug capital in Pa.
missy

Louisville, CO

#9 Jun 19, 2007
Our location is in the same complex as New Directions. FOG OF SMOKE? I wish that was the worst we have to walk through each day. Our parking lot has become a garbage pit, an ashtray, a toilet bowl (from vomit and urine) and also a snot rag (from patients emptying their nasal passages on the walkway). A real treat!!!
Brian

Philadelphia, PA

#10 Jun 19, 2007
The poor addicts have nowhere to go for treatment?? Waa Waaaa Too freaking bad!! Here's a tip for those losers---don't get addcited to drugs!! I wouldn't want one of these centers within a mile of my house!!
Disgusted

Bethlehem, PA

#11 Jun 19, 2007
The street slang for Methadone is "liquid handcuffs". Comming to a street near you!
zenith

Austin, TX

#12 Jun 19, 2007
I don't even know where to begin with these comments! First of all, people standing outside smoking is hardly a threat to the decency of society! And whoever said it "gets in your bones" is completely off base! This is one of those "street myths" that is completely untrue.

The methadone deaths HARMD refers to come primarily NOT from clinic patients but from the recent increase in methadone being prescribed for pain management without appropraite education in HOW to prescribe it for the physician or how to observe for problems by the patient. The VAST VAST majority of these deaths come from the person combining medications, NOT from methadone alone, or from taking FAR too much seeking a potent high (which methadone does not give).

Because people are seldom referred to this form of treatment until very far advanced in their addiction (which is a shame since it is the MOST effective treatment for opiate addiction), some clinics--especially those which are government funded--do have a number of patients who are on the fringes of society and can be hard to treat successfully with ANY modality. However, this is NOT the fault of the treatment but rather the DELAY in effective treatment. There are MANY well run clinics with patients who arrive once per month to pick up their medication before heading off to their full time jobs, trusted with these take home doses because they have been clean from other drugs, working, active in their recovery and exhibiting positive change. No one sees them because they are "invisible"--they seldom need to go to the clinic, they do not cause problems, they look like anyone else. There are MORE of these people than of "those" people, but all the attention goes to the "colorful" ones--the squeaky wheels. Please do not judge all methadone patients by a few miscreants and do not just believe street myths you hear without scientific backup.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/360...
Susie

Elkridge, MD

#13 Jun 19, 2007
marie wrote:
Harmd, I was going to bring up your points, you stated them very well. It has long been my opinion that methodone is more harmful than heroin because it actually gets into the bones of the user. Kicking meth is much harder. Politics at their finest here.
Get your facts straight. It DOES NOT get into the bones. Geez...I wish you people would at least do your homework before you recant ridiculous, false statements.

“MethadoneSupport .org”

Since: Jan 07

MethadoneSupport.org

#14 Jun 19, 2007
EXCELLENT post, Zenith...per usual.

People, take a moment and go to the petition link that Zenith left above. Read the comments that people are leaving with their signatures and see how Methadone can SAVE lives...not the opposite. Go to my website and have a look at the "Advocacy" page. See the faces of your neighbors, people you work with, your relatives etc. And remember, these are not just "dirty heroin addicts". These are also people like you....that happened to have become dependent on pain medications etc.

If I can ever be of assistance to anyone, please don't hesitate to stop by the website and/or drop me a line!.....Carol

Founder/Director
Methadone Support Org.
*link to website under my avatar*

“Made in America”

Since: Apr 07

Allentown, Pa

#15 Jun 19, 2007
I would rather get these people off the streets than have my child watch them shooting heroin in the back alley...New Directions is trying to get people off of heroin...just to let you in on a little secret about smoking...it isn't just heroin addicts at the clinic who are polluting your precious air...I am will to bet you that some of that smoke might come from some of your coworkers...also the trash heap in the parking lot...I have seen little in some of the most prestigious company lots...alot of people seem to fail to find a garbage can...and vomiting in a parking lot...I honestly vomited in Lehigh Valley Mall's lot when I was pregnant...wow...

since when is trying to get people off drugs such an issue...I am sure some people going to New Directions work just as hard as you if not harder for probably a lot less an hour...not all drug addicts are street scum...take a Sociology course or two...your whole view of alot will change
Oracle

Bethlehem, PA

#16 Jun 19, 2007
My brother-in-law has been in the meth program since the mid 80's. Prior to that he was a total f-up. Now he spends about a car payment per month for the "program". He works 50+ hrs in construction, has a wife, and is a productive man. Don't throw out the meth program winners with the enviable losers.
haha

Morgantown, WV

#17 Jun 19, 2007
Anything that pisses off the type of people who hate methadone clinics is A+ in my book. It made my day to see these comments and how mad this decision has made ignorant self rightous people. For once the court has actually stood up for those in need and done something to make our streets safer.
mary haynes

China Grove, NC

#18 Jun 20, 2007
Please do not believe what Zenith is saying. We have a diversion specialist at Harmd who has many cases that will prove that the clinics are at fault too. Try telling this to the families that have lost someone to clinic diversion or dying after being given methadone at the clinic. Zenith, These statements that you keep making are totally false and there are lawsuits going on as we speak so you may want to do a little more research before you continue with that spill. Methadone is a monster which is killing thousands a year and something must be done. Bottom line is this. The deaths are coming from methadone. Who really cares which? Something must be done. A 14 year old died recently. All I care about is methadone killed this young person and many of the vicitms have been middle class males between the ages of 17-25. Everyone, please visit harmd.org and sign this petition. Mary Haynes, Vice President of Harmd and the Mother of Jamie Pethel who died on 09-04-06 at the age of 23

Since: Mar 07

Lake Helen, FL

#19 Jun 20, 2007
Greetings,
I'm one of those invisible people zenith talked about. I own my own business. I employee people and I also take methadone. I go once per month to pick mine up and do not stand on the street corner just hanging around. I'm not alone. I'm one of thousands and thousands who just like me take methadone and blend in to everyday life of a doctor, lawyer, nurse, postal employee, and every job imaginable. I will bet you people you know have now or been on methadone , but were afraid to tell you because of the stigma surrounding this medicine and all the negative information floating around.. Two learn more I suggest you visit.

www.methadone support.org
zenith

Austin, TX

#20 Jun 20, 2007
Mary, I DID NOT SAY the clinic patients did not do some of the diverting--merely that the INCREASE has been ONLY since it began being Rxed for pain. And if you read about these deaths, most of them occur from poly drug use and abuse, not methadone alone.
zenith

Austin, TX

#21 Jun 20, 2007
By the way--there are also websited devoted to stopping tylenol related deaths, oxycontin related deaths, ibuprofen related deaths, and on and on--drugs misused will kill...period. Ibuprofen killed 16,000 people a year--four times more than is being claimed for methadone--and these were deaths from ibuprofen ALONE, not just one of a panoply of drugs as is often the case in these "methadone" deaths.

No one wants anyone to die, and I often speak out for better education being required for the prescribing doctor and the patient as methadone has a long half life and builds up slowly in the body, especially in non opiate tolerant patients. But the agenda seems to be to make it as difficult as possible for clinic patients to be treated for their addiction and punishes those who do as they should along with those who do not, by asking for no takehomes ever for clinic patients. It is way too easy to pick on clinic patients and ignore other sources of diversion, and THAT is NOT right.

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