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As I have read many of the posts and replies here I can't help but protest the characterization of methadone as a horrendous drug.  I can't speak for pain management patients but I can speak for those of us that were addicted to street drugs like heroin and came to methadone from that.  Methadone was never meant to be a cure all drug for opiate addiction.  Basically its used for detoxing and maintenance for those of us with that need.   Basically it is used as a better alternative to shooting up heroin and other I.V. opiates.  It was intended to reduce the cost to society by reducing crime and to improve the basic health of the illegal drug user and more recently to stem the spread of aids, and other IV transmitted diseases.  Another very important use is that of a blockade to the use of other opiates while using this substitute.  That's what it is, its a substitute but that's only one benefit. We know its addictive and when anyone starts recieving it at a clinic you sign many forms one of which clearly informs the patient that it is addictive and once on it, you will become addicted to it.  So what is the alternative for an I.V. addict ? Continue until you o.d., go to prison, or stop using on your own? Come on people, how can anyone blame methadone for their addiction in the first place? The drugs we used that got us here are some of the worst drugs on the planet and we were all in very bad shape when we got here.  Until something better comes along we have to use what is available. So please think twice before you trash a drug that has saved thousands, maybe millions of lives. I would much rather take a drink of methadone everyday than shoot up everyday.  Your life is going to be very short if you choose the latter route as we all know.  It goes without saying that of course it would be great to be totally drug free and that is the ultimate goal of any addict in theory, but for those of us that haven't been able to do that, methadone is a humane and reasonable alternative, period!   

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Continued from my post:   Lets not discourage someone that is actively using I.V. opiates and has reached that awful condition where a life is threatened.   And believe me, lives are at stake here.   For many, they can simply detox using methadone and be done with it.  For others, methadone maintenance would be appropriate and it can enable addicts to get their lives in order, become productive and healthy.    I thank God methadone was there for me, because I know I would either be dead or in prison if I continued on that dead end course.  Maybe at some point in the future there will be a cure of some sort where the addictive effects of drugs can be neutralized or reverse with a dose of some wonder drug, I don't know. But for now it is what it is and we just have to make the best of it and save the lives we can.  Thank you for reading and I welcome your comments or questions.  All of you that have improved your lives with methadone should be commended and given the respect you deserve. It's a cruel world out there and all we have is each other, so lets help each other and not trash the methods that have benefited us over the years.         Rodneyrdr

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