Welcome! In this issue you'll find publication links, resources, and a recap of our February workshop as well as helpful information about methadone and medication assisted treatment options. In our May issue we will highlight the striking overdose data trends that were presented to us at our March OPP meeting with Dr. Marci Sorg. Keep your fingers crossed for Spring and we'll see you in May!
Amanda, Nancy & Ronni
Portland's Overdose Prevention Project
|Advocacy Partnership Exchange|
Q & A: Dispelling Methadone Myths
|On February 5th, staff from area methadone clinics came to Preble Street Resource Center for our community "Q & A" workshop in the hopes of dispelling some of the common myths about methadone. The discussion was a lively one with close to 100 people in the day shelter tuning in and getting involved.
Here are some of the questions people submitted anonymously during the workshop...
Q: Why is methadone prescribed if it is addictive?
A: Prescription methadone is a viable treatment
option for some people addicted to opioids. While there are people who do abuse methadone,
the vast majority of methadone patients do not. Unfortunately, these successes
aren't the stories we hear about in the media. Additionally, most of the diverted methadone comes from prescriptions
written by under-informed doctors, not from methadone clinics. There is current
action being considered by the FDA to better educate doctors about methadone.
Q: Can you use methadone if you're pregnant?A: Yes. Methadone is the 'gold standard'
of treatment for pregnant, opioid-addicted women. Despite
the many myths, methadone (and sometimes Subutex)
is an option for pregnant women and is much safer for the baby than to quit
using 'cold turkey.' Look for the Portland Women's Task Force
educational materials about treatment options for pregnant women coming Spring '09!
Q: Why do the clinics allow pills to be released to some clients?
A: Take-home prescription methadone is a privilege
earned by patients, who meet Federal and State criteria, as it is a means to
support people who are looking to get on with their lives. "Program staff members use discretion in customizing medication schedules for each patient, according to that patient's best interests. Physicians and staff members...consider public health issues in approving take-home medication (e.g., preventing diversion, ensuring safe storage and security of medication, preventing overdoses). Staff...ensure that policies for approval of take-home medication do not create barriers to patients' continuing in treatment." Source: CSAT/SAMHSA Guidelines for the Accreditation of Opioid Treatment Guidelines
Q: What is the process for getting into the clinic?A: Once a person has decided to explore methadone treatment for their opioid
addiction, a phone call to a clinic starts the process. After the initial
contact has been made, a screening, an assessment and intake process will
follow. While each clinic's intake process varies, it is important to
note that pregnant women are priority clients. Each clinic offers similar
services that include "...integrated medical and
counseling approaches grounded in an individualized recovery
oriented philosophy that treats addiction as a biopsychosocial disease."
Q: Is coming off methadone harder than heroin?
A: "Because it is long-acting, withdrawal
from methadone does last much longer than withdrawal from
short-acting opioids. Therefore, a person who has experienced "cold
turkey" withdrawal separately from heroin and methadone might say that
"kicking" methadone was worse - because it lasted longer. This is one
way the myth might have started and it ignores the fact that methadone
withdrawal should never be done "cold turkey" to begin with."
Q: Isn't it just trading one drug for another?A: "Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) is a form of" medication
assisted treatment that uses "...a medication
(methadone) to overcome the compulsive need for other opioid drugs (such as
heroin or other abused opioids). While the person is, indeed, physiologically
dependent on methadone, the pharmacologic actions of methadone are
quite different from addictive opioid agents - methadone is not a mere
THANK YOU Tim (MRMS), John & Sue (CAP Quality Care) and Steve (Discovery House) for taking the time out of their hectic schedules to talk face-to-face with folks about methadone as an effective treatment option for opiate-addicted people and to Preble Street staff & clients for offering space for our workshop!
Our next APEx workshop is scheduled for June '09. We will feature representatives from Portland's Fire Dept/Rescue to discuss EMT perspective when dealing with an overdose situation.
FMI Contact Amanda.
|Faces and Voices of Recovery: |
Messaging & Online Book Club Update
|New Messaging from Faces and Voices of Recovery: Talking About Recovery
"Faces & Voices of Recovery is very excited to share with you language that you can use to talk with the public and policymakers about recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. This messaging is a result of in-depth public opinion research with members of the recovery community and the general public. We encourage you to use this "messaging" or language in all of your recovery advocacy - if you are speaking out as a person in recovery or a family member or friend."
View the Messaging Memo or visit Faces and Voices of Recovery HERE
FAVOR Online Book Club
Faces and Voices of Recovery has "...been hearing from advocates around the country who want to
read and discuss books together that are important to the recovery
community and our recovery advocacy movement. Through online
conversation and the exchange of ideas, we hope that the Book Club will
expand our growing advocacy network, strengthening our movement."
Submit a book to be considered as a book club selection!
Reports & Research
|Stay in touch with us on Facebook and our blog!
States in Brief: Prevalence of Illicit Substance & Alcohol Use and Abuse
View the Report for Maine
May 6, 2009
2:00 - 3:30
FMI Contact Ronni
CAP Quality Care, Maine Office of Substance Abuse, Preble Street Resource Center, Discovery House, Portland Fire Department, Merrimack River Medical Services, Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery, Maine General Medical Center and Portland Public Health Division's Behavioral Health Team, India Street Clinic and Minority Health Program.