November 14th, 2014 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 6 hour CEU
Sponsored By Columbia River Mental Health Services
PeaceHealth Southwest Mill Plain Campus,Health Education Center off Mill Plain & 92nd Ave.
600 N.E. 92nd Ave., Vancouver, WA 98664 http://www.addictionceu.org/
The Benefits of Methadone
I remember learning about the benefits of methadone treatment a long time ago from Eric Martin of ACCBO! Back then I recall him sharing that for every $7.00 spent on methadone it saved at the least $25.00 in crime and health costs!!! I imagine the numbers are completely different today!
Progress in Seeing Methadone as A Viable Option
When I worked at a hospital in Vancouver I recall the school of thought whenever we mentioned methadone as an option for treatment – initially – we were frowned upon because it was seen as exchanging one addiction for another! Five years later after witnessing patients return multiple times I recall one of the toughest nurses in the Emergency Room was actually suggesting methadone maintenance as a viable option!
Then while a counselor at a residential facility by the coast a 26 year old beautiful young man graduated his program successfully! If you know me you know that I tend to give a heart shaped rock to folks as they continue on their recovery journey. The heart shaped rock serves as a reminder to love themselves first. I gave one to this young man on his last day in treatment. My heart broke to hear that he passed away the very next day. The clinical supervisor brought all the young men into the group room and asked “How many of you think you can use heroin just one more time?” Several patients raised their hand. She responded “That is what ….thought and now he is gone.” Tears filled the room that day including my own. I didn’t know him as well as others but it touched my heart – he was somebody’s child, brother perhaps, friend for sure, part of a community…and I do know that his early departure and the loss of so many others like him affects all of us.
With opiate use among young people being at an all time high we must be open to and informed about many treatment options – including methadone maintenance.
Methadone Maintenance Works for Some
My sweetest experience that sold me on the benefits of this harm reduction approach was my time at a methadone maintenance facility in Portland, Oregon where I was able to work first hand with patients who struggled with opiate dependence. We addressed topics like grief and loss, nicotine cessation, nutrition in addition to their opiate dependence. In the process of emphasizing healthy living with the ultimate goal of improving quality of lives I had two patients who were able to titrate down from methadone and ultimately get off of it altogether! That was the grooviest experience because it solidified for me the belief that methadone maintenance treatment truly does work for some folks!!!
Methadone maintenance may not be for everyone however I want to learn more so I can have the most current information to pass along to my clients!
I am so looking forward to this Friday’s CDTCNW Training where I will be able to learn how this viable option has changed over the years!
I encourage you to consider joining me especially with such an epidemic of young people affected by opiate use.