Methadone shouldn’t be open-ended

Methadone clinics are not a panacea for heroin abuse [“U.S. still misfiring in war on drugs,” Opinion, April 26]. These clinics have such long waiting lists because they’re a lifestyle and not a rehabilitation program.

Clients attend for years with little effort at rehabilitation. These clinics were created by the government primarily so addicts could manage cravings, but the underlying addiction is not addressed. Some clients qualify for Social Security disability payments because they have to report daily to a clinic to get the methadone, purportedly making it difficult to keep a job.

People using methadone or its cousin, Suboxone, are not treating their addiction; they’re merely substituting a legally sanctioned substance for an illegal one.

Methadone clinics should not be open-ended. There needs to be a time limit, and taking the methadone should be coupled with serious rehabilitation treatment aimed at becoming drug free.

Also, women of child-bearing age should be required to take Depo-Provera shots to prevent pregnancy. It’s unfair to burden a newborn with starting his or her life addicted to drugs and needing to go through withdrawal.

Barbara Haynes

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Hauppauge

Editor’s note: The writer works with legal issues involving people with addictions.