Monday, December 8, 2008

Think Things Through....

Anyone considering methadone as a means to quit dope should try to do a little research first so they know a bit about what they are signing up for. I know it's difficult, because by the time a person seeks treatment, life is pretty bad. At least some parts are bad enough to make the rest seem like it may not be worth it; and to be honest, most of us would have to admit that lack of funds is the usual road block keeping us from using forever. The point I'm trying to make is that I feel like I jumped right into treatment without asking a lot of questions because all I cared about is that I knew I would feel better. I just didn't want to be dope sick anymore; and by this time it was a rather regular feeling as I was unable to afford the amount of dope I needed to stay high. The filthy rich can blow through fortunes on dope so it should be no suprise that even though my boyfriend and myself were working full time and hustling and selling glass art that he made, we still couldn't swing it. I truly believe that I will never say that I regret the decision I made to begin methadone treatment; I simply wish I had been mentally able to enter into a better informed situation.
Knowing all that I know now about clinics (whether they be Metro's, CSAC's, Habit Opco's, or corporations under other names), I still believe that methadone is a gift to the field of recovery and to all of those whose lives have been changed by it. I think patients could benefit from treatment in numerous ways if clinics were to operate as non-profits. It would be great if patients could pay less for smaller doses; as it is set up now, the cost is the same for 10 mg as 300mg. The way things stand as of now, there is hardly any aftercare to speak of and depending upon the individual clinic patients may be required two hours of counseling or more a month and others may be offered no counseling at all. Evidently there are many changes that could be made to improve the current situation. For any changes to take place, however, caretakers and professionals in the field need to collaborate with patients to come up with procedures that accomodate both parties equally.
A major reccuring gripe I hear from patients is that they feel like they are treated as criminals rather than medical patients, the majority of whom are in treatment voluntarily. Obviously, the women and men who choose to work at a methadone clinic must have a certain level of compassion and understanding towards the patients being accomodated at these clinics. The doctors, nurses, and administrators could all probably make more money someplace else and deal with a lot less grief on a daily basis as well, but they choose to use their skills to help addicts find recovery. For that I have respect for these people. But just because some people feel for us addicts does not mean they understand us or, more importantly, trust us. I can't count how many times I have been treated like I was a liar and a thief because I was a recovering addict, I have been told countless times as I'm sure we all have that "the way to tell and addict is lying is to see their lips move." I resent such assumptions because there are many, many well funtioning addicts in the world, myself being one of them. A few bad apples should not make the whole bushel worthless, right? I know plenty of women and men who worked and raised their families and even attended school throughout the time they were using. All addicts are not morally inept individuals, in fact there is research that shows addicts to be, on the whole, trustworthy, compasionate and highly intelligent individuals who are suffering from a disease even they cannot define or understand.
All this being said, it should be clear that I am ready to move on from this stage in my life.

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