David Clark sticks his neck out on MMT:
As I have said many times before, I have nothing against methadone substitution therapy per se, but I feel strongly about it being used with clients being offered no, or only minimal other, support. I have written:
‘Due to the approach adopted by much of the UK treatment system, this generally leads people from one addiction to another without providing a realistic opportunity to attain recovery.
Whilst methadone (and Subutex) have an important role to play in helping people take the chaos out of a heroin-using lifestyle, they should not be prescribed in isolation or with minimal other support.
The majority of heroin users actually want to get off drugs completely, not be “left” long-term on methadone or other substitute drugs. They must be provided with the choice of, and help in, finding a path to recovery, rather than just being helped to live with addiction. Much of the treatment system shows a shocking paucity of ambition for its clients. If cancer patients were only offered what amounts to a form of palliative care, it would be seen as a scandal.’
This issue of palliative care gets to the very crux of the issue doesn’t it?
The term “palliative care” may be used generally to refer to any care that alleviates symptoms, whether or not there is hope of a cure by other means;
It really comes down to whether once believes addiction is a treatable illness doesn’t it?
I’d add that it might be possible for a methadone program to have a recovery orientation, rather than a palliative orientation, but it’s not what I see.
Once again, I’d welcome a day when addicts are offered recovery oriented treatment of an adequate duration and intensity and have the opportunity to choose for themselves.