Ramon Rustin, warden of Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque, plans on halting the center’s Methadone program, thereby saving Bernalillo County about $10,000 a month. Since 2006, the Center – the largest non-penitentiary facility in Heroin plagued New Mexico – has been treating its addicted inmates with Methadone.
As well as the expense, Rustin who served as warden of the Allegheny County Jail in Pennsylvania and has worked in Corrections for almost a third of a century, expressed concerns as to the program’s effectiveness in slowing recidivism.
“My concern is that the courts and other authorities think that jail has become a treatment program, that it has become the community provider. But jail is not the answer. Methadone programs belong in the community, not here.”– NYT
Experts on addiction would disagree, citing the dangers inherent in removing addicts from Methadone treatment. Many compare it to taking a diabetic off insulin, or a schizophrenic off anti-psychotics.
I’m of two minds on this issue.
Putting it as delicately as possible, let’s just say I’ve been involved with drug related issues for a large part of my life. I have known many Heroin addicts who effectively got off Heroin by using Methadone – sadly, I don’t know of any who ever effectively got off the Methadone.
Obviously, jail is no place to try and kick, cold turkey. And obviously, it would be cruel and inhumane to force that on inmates. But if those organizations and private enterprises who administer these programs, don’t ween the inmates off the drug, they’re merely replacing one opiate with another, and are essentially no better than the pushers they claim to be fighting.
I, personally, know a number of individuals who are slaves to their daily Methadone clinic. Some manage to eschew street drugs during the day, while others don’t. My issue is with any drug that one is expected to take for life. That includes the less notorious chemical concoctions such as Metformin or Simvastatin. Methadone is a powerful opiate narcotic. It’s use differs only from that of Heroin, in that Methadone is legal.
Click here: www.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/us/alarm-in-albuquerque-over-plan-to-end-methadone-for-inmates.html to see the Gray Lady’s coverage of this story. As always, they have my gratitude.
- Methadone program facing price increase (krqe.com)
- Methadone treatments at Bernalillo County jails to continue (KOB.com)
- So Burlington upholds permit for methadone clinic (mysanantonio.com)
- Bernalillo County to end inmate methadone program (KOB.com)
- Once-a-month opiate addiction treatment little-used in Maine, clinic operators say (bangordailynews.com)
- Group threatens legal action over MDC Methadone Program (KOB.com)
- Limiting Maine addiction treatment is foolish (bangordailynews.com)
- A New Report Shows Methadone Treatment is Ineffective | The Life Works Community Blog (challengingaddiction.wordpress.com)
- How Safe is Methadone? (drvitelli.typepad.com)
- Shocking report shows two in three addicts on methadone still use drugs after three months (dailyrecord.co.uk)