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Methadone has many truths and myths, but clinic has done wonders for Constance Lake: client

Friday November 12, 2010

Re: ‘Eabametoong declares state of emergency over murders, arson’ in the Oct. 28 edition of Wawatay News.

My name is Eva Taylor and I’m 29 years old. I am a community member of Constance Lake First Nation. Like other First Nation communities, we have prescription drug abuse issues here too.

But our community has a methadone clinic and I believe it has done wonders for my community.

I am a client of the methadone program, as I am a recovering prescription drug addict. I used percocetes and oxycontin, then graduated onto injecting 200 milligrams of morphine over a period of four years. I can understand what these addicts are going through.

I suggest Eabametoong try some form of methadone treatment. Though methadone is not a cure for opiate addiction, it is a tool that can help one live a manageable life.

Methadone is an opioid too, so you will become dependant on it. But with this drug, you take it once a day. Once you are on the proper dosage you will be relieved of drug cravings, withdrawal symptoms and the drug-seeking behaviour that nags the addict (which leads to stealing and harming others).

Long-term commitment is necessary to ensure success.

I have been using methadone for three years and if I hadn’t, I would not be here today. I am not perfect but I am a lot better person than I was as an addict. I am dependant on methadone yes, but I do not think or behave like I did when I was abusing oxy’s and morphine.

Since methadone is a slow-acting opiate, it rarely produces a high, it only makes you feel ‘normal’ enabling the addict to go on with their day.

However, if one is thinking about going on methadone or providing these services in their community, please read up on the treatment outline and the truths and myths about it before deciding this is the best route. Education is key.

Even though my community has had this service since 2006, there are still ignorant people in my community that refuse to accept that methadone helps. Many people still bash the use of the methadone, saying it rots teeth, that you’re stuck on it for life and that it causes birth defects (all of which is not true).

I can’t even imagine how my community would be if this treatment wasn’t available here. We even service non-Aboriginal addicts in nearby towns.

Methadone is one of the most successful opiate addiction treatments. I know there are many other treatment options, but please accept the fact that prescription drug abuse is here to stay in all communities, not just First Nations, so we might as well find options that work for the addicts.

From personal experience, I know if someone goes on methadone and tries with the best of efforts, it can save your life. I would rather take methadone once a day than live the hellhole life I had before.

It is not as easy as ‘just quit, just stop taking the pills.’

Once you are addicted to opiates, your brain thinks differently. You cannot simply turn off your cravings. A person who can’t stop is not weak. It’s not because they are not trying hard enough, they just can’t stop.

Try to remember this when you wonder why there are so many addicts in your community. This is where methadone can help.

Eva Taylor
Constance Lake

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Thanks Eva for sharing your

Thanks Eva for sharing your story. Many people would be helped by introducing a methadone clinic in the community. It is a safe and effective way to get people off prescription drugs. There are many myths and false information out there about methadone, but I urge people to educate themselves about this life-changing drug. I also had a prescription drug problem, and when I went on methadone, my life changed forever. I was able to complete college while on the program, and I am now at Lakehead University and workng in the addiction field. Methadone gives a person their life back, and gives them the ability to make better choices.

I agree with your story,

I agree with your story, there are many misconceptions about methodone. Besides the stigma that's associated with being on methadone, many people believe that you are simply substituting one drug for another when, in fact, you are really exchanging an unhealthy lifestyle for one that is so much better. I too have been on methadone and it has helped me and my family tremendously. If I had not gone on the program, I would not be where I am today, or rather, the person who I am right now. I am in a place in my life where opportunities and possibilities are endless, all because of the methadone program that was implemented within my own community. I applaud you for bringing forth this "hush hush" issue forward, people really need to educate themselves before they place judgement into something they really don't know much about.

As a former addict and also

As a former addict and also being in the methadone program, as Eva said it works and it does/can change lives. It has mine as well as friends/family and loved ones also, all whom have been addicted and abusing opiates for sometime. If your living a life full of drugs and your looking for that way end or means to an end, then methadone is exactly what you need. People shouldn't be so quick too judge or look down upon methadone as it's proven too help many, myself included and like Eva i also wouldn't be here today without the methadone program and a will too get off prescription pills or worse. Thanks for sharing Eva and i wish your community and clinic the best as i know first hand it doe's make a difference.

I myself have been employed

I myself have been employed in the methadone field. There is a better and new drug Called Suboxone. It does have the same addiction curing effect as with methadone but it is not as hard to come off of. With methadone you can be on the program for 3 years minimum just to get off. When you get down to those last 12 mg, it will take you anywhere from 6 months to a year just to get off it. Where Suboxone you can start and stop taking the medication with very few side effects. I have personally seen addicts that have been using methadone for years try suboxone and stop all together gaining their carries and becoming sober. Suboxone is used when methadone itself has not been successful or you have had many attempts to quit. I believe Suboxone therapy would be a big help in aboriginal communities helping with both the stigma and the overall health of these nations.

I also believe that Methadone

I also believe that Methadone clinics do a great deal to help addicts recover from their addictions.
This particular group of clinics does so by treating their client like criminals and children. It is impossible to learn to
Be healthy and normal again when you are being treated this way. I believe that the patients of these clinics are off drugs while
At the clinic but there long term success rate is not as good as they would like you to believe. Until the medical community stops the
Policy of punishment as a way of treating drug abuse they will never have long term success . Working together and allowing addicts so
Take their own responsibility for their addiction will prove to be the better program.

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