OpiateAddictionRxENews; China, Scotland, Germany and USA

CallieMimosa at aol.com CallieMimosa at aol.com
Tue Aug 31 16:40:49 EDT 2004


O P I A T E A D D I C T I O N R X, 
August 2004  Ref:126

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Worldwide  Highlights:  
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USA:  VA: WOMAN JAILED FOR LISTENING TO DOCTOR

Kimberly Bucklin sits in the  Tazewell County jail, unfortunately 
caught in the middle between a doctor  who prescribed 
methadone to help her break an OxyContin addiction, and a  
judge who prohibited her from taking methadone when he 
put her on  probation. 

The case presents a conflict between law enforcement and  
the medical needs of recovering addicts. At a heariAugust
August 20 Judge  Henry Vanover was asked to reconsider 
his three-year prison sentence for  Bucklin's probation violation. 
Dr. Robert G. Newman, testifying as an expert  witness, 
stated that methadone was an effective treatment that 
when  administered properly reduces criminality and allows 
addicts to live normal  lives. The case, was reopened at 
the request of the American Civil Liberties  Union and 
drug treatment advocates. (Source: The Roanoke Times, 
Laurence  Hammack) For more information on this story:  
http://www.opiateaddictionrx.info/whatsnew.asp?id=634


GERMANY:  "COLLABORATION BETWEEN PHYSICIAN 
AND PHARMACIST IN 'SUBSTITUTION  TREATMENT'  

Since the early 90s Germany has been in the forefront  of 
treatment by generalist physicians of opiate addiction with 
methadone  and other agonist medications. There has also 
been major reliance on  community-based pharmacies. 
The experience has been excellent, as reported  in a 2002 
paper (in German) which concluded: "*collaboration 
between  physicians, pharmacists and patients contributed 
greatly to minimizing the  risks associated with this form 
of treatment and is fundamental to the  achievement of 
optimal results." It goes on to state that "every modern  
pharmacy should participate [in this treatment]." Source: 
Pallenbach.  Pharmazie in unsere Zeit. 31(1):90-95, 2002


SCOTLAND: COMMUNITY  PHARMACIES AS PARTNER 
IN PROVIDING OPIATE ADDICTION SERVICES

"...the  bulk of substitute prescribing takes place in a primary 
care setting with  community pharmacies dispensing . . . " 
Over 8,800 patients receive  methadone in that setting, 65% 
ingesting it under direct supervision.  Excerpts from the conclusions: 
majority of (non-addiction treatment)  customers were supportive 
of community pharmacies offering methadone and/or  needle 
exchange services; many had "limited understanding of the  
rationale for methadone." The final observation by the authors: 
"This  research should encourage more pharmacies to offer
drug misuse services . . .  "  (Lawrie et al. Drug and Alc RJune
June 2004; vol.  23:195-202)


"METHADONE RELATED DEATHS" 

Methadone deaths  continue to make the news in the US 
and elsewhere. Accordingly, reliable  data to cast light on 
what is actually transpiring are essential. One  important 
study published last year reports on "methadone in  
drug-related deaths in the west of Scotland." The conclusion: 
"after  1996 deaths involving methadone have decreased 
despite both an increasing  number of people being 
prescribed methadone and an overall increase in  drug-related 
deaths. . . . The argument that methadone is an unsafe  
alternativetherapy for opiate addiction is not supported by the 
results  of this study." Note that in this part of Scotlamnd the 
overwhelming  majority of patients receive methadone prescribed 
by office-based generalist  physicians, and administered 
(commonly under direct supervision) by  community pharmacies. 
Ref.: Seymour et al. Addiction. 98:995-1002,  2003


CHINA:  GOVERNMENT SLOWLY INTRODUCES 
METHADONE  TREATMENT FOR OPIATE ADDICTION 

With half of the estimated 1 million HIV  infections in China 
attributed to spread by intravenous drug use, and with  
projections of HIV/AIDS reaching upwards of 10 million 
people by 2010,  the government has begun to change 
its policies and practices. 

After  decades of ignoring addiction except through 
attempts to crack down on  supply, and by incarceration of 
users in "camps," Beijing officials are now  urging local 
governments to provide methadone treatment and 
"harm  reduction" methods such as needle exchange. 
Eight methadone pilot programs  have been launched 
just this year in southern China, the center of the AIDS  
problem. The programs are still small with each treating a 
few hundred  patients, but further expansion is anticipated. 
Meanwhile, Hong Kong's  methadone program continues 
to be considered a major success after almost 30  years of 
continuous operation.

For the complete article by Shashank  Bengali which 
appeared in the Knight Ridders NewspapAugust
August 10,  2004, click below:
http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/9365186.htm  


USA: ENDORSEMENT OF METHADONE 
TREATMENT IN PRISON  

Criminal Justice System agencies are generally 
hostile towards  methadone treatment, in jail or 
anywhere else. Accordingly, it was  gratifying to see a 
ringing endorsement of methadone treatment in the prison  
setting appear in a publication called Correction Professional 
(vol 9,  number 21, 16 Aug 04). The article quotes The 
National Drug Court Institute:  "80% of those who stick 
with the [methadone] program reduce or eliminate  
their criminal activity."


USA - CONTINUING "METHADONE WOES" NOT  
ATTRIBUTED TO ADDICTION TREATMENT PROGRAMS 

Those battling local  opposition to expansion of methadone
treatment services might consider an  article of Dec. 29, 2003, 
regarding Tazewell County in Western Virginia. The  region 
saw methadone-related deaths climb from 12 in 1999 to 62 in 
2002,  and roughly 70 in 2003. But the State's medical examiner 
for the district  said "the circumstances . . . do not point toward 
methadone clinics." The  chief of drug diversion for the State Police 
agreed: "...methadone treatment  clinics have played a minimal 
role in methadone abuse in the region." As for  clinics becoming 
magnets for drug crimes, Tazewell's Deputy Police Chief ".  . . 
said his department has had a methadone clinic in its jurisdiction for  
almost two years with little or no impact of drug abuse or 
dealing."  Police in a neighboring city said that since its establishment 
in 1997 they  were called only once, "when a building security 
alarm accidentally  sounded.". 

-----------------------------------------------
LETTER TO  THE EDITOR: 
-----------------------------------------------
Al-Qaeda's  Poppy Profits 
R.G.Newman, MD; Time Magazine, 
Aug 30, 2004  Edition
http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,1101040830-686046,00.html

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UPCOMING  CONFERENCES: 
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Ethnicity  & Addiction
16th International Congress on Addiction
September 8 -  10
Vienna, Austria
http://www.ethnicity-addiction.com

The Third  International Conference on 
Substitution Treatment and Rehabilitation 
of  Drug Addiction
September 28-30, 2004
Katowice, Poland   
http://www.aids.gov.pl/arch_en/4415

American Association of Treatment  of 
Opioid Dependence
October 16-20, 2004
Orlando, Florida,  USA
http://www.aatod.org 

VI European Conference
European  Opiate Addiction Treatment Association
November 1-3, 2004
Paris,  France
http://www.europad.org 

Fifth National Harm Reduction  Conference
November 11-14, 2004
New Orleans, Louisiana,  USA
http://www.harmreduction.org/conf2004


-----------------------------------------------
Maureen  O'Connor
Project Director, Web Site
International Center for the  
Advancement of Addiction  Treatment
http://www.OpiateAddictionRx.info
212-523-8398


-----------------------------------------------
Maureen  O'Connor
Project Director, Web Site
International Center for the  
Advancement of Addiction  Treatment
http://www.OpiateAddictionRx.info
212-523-8398


-----------------------------------------------
Maureen  O'Connor
Project Director, Web Site
International Center for the  
Advancement of Addiction  Treatment
http://www.OpiateAddictionRx.info
212-523-8398


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