>Thank you for your recent letter to the Methadone Information Exchange's Letters page. I'm sure the writers of the letters that you responded to will appreciate your comments. (Excerpt from a recent letter of mine. - Eric)
Your welcome. Patients need a site like yours where they can comment on what happens in their programs. This will start to make providers honest. They are very concerned about the Net -- for the first time patients can communicate with each other -- while we were in the programs they keep us apart and divided. Now many patients are on the Net and talking publically about what goes on in these so called treatment programs. Your site -- you probably didn't realize it but it will scare the shit out of them.
>Until very recently I thought it was impossible to find a private doctor who would prescribe methadone for treatment of opiate addiction. How does one approach the subject with a physician? What about the FDA? Should I give the doctor an information package with details on getting FDA approval and the finer points of methadone maintenance treatment? I would love to free myself from the constraints of the clinic that I go to, I'm just not sure how or where to begin. (Another excerpt from the same letter. - Eric)
Now about you finding a doctor. In the past year several patients have been able to find a doctor. So it is possible. It is only impossible when you don't think you can do it.
First you have to find a doctor. Check the Yellow Pages the local Physician's Referral Line and ask friends about doctors. This will be the hardest part. Most doctors think they cannot prescribe methadone -- that is not true they can with permission from the FDA. (Please notify the patient in Florida if he got the FDA to give him the necessary exemption otherwise the FDA will pay a visit to the doctor and he will never be able to do this again the DEA will black list him. I think I sent him a message but I can't remember with all the crashes and I am afraid to check my email to see if I did because I may crash.)
You will have to educate the doctor -- that addiction treatment goes perfectly into an Internists or Family Practitioners practice. It is a metabolic disease of the brain that is controlled easily with medication just like diabetes with insulin.
Now before you go in educate yourself and plan what you will say. Here are some publications you can take with you for the doctor. Down load from the Chemical Dependency Research Working Group at: http://www.users.interport.net/~nama/cdrwghom.html the methadone compendium about 60 pages. You will find it in the Publications section and is called "Methadone Treatment Works"
Also the Lindesmith Center site at http://www.soros.org/lindesmith/tlcmain.html you will find in their publications section a paper by Nadleman and McNealy called "Doing Methadone Right" it is about physician prescribing.
Also from the NAMA site you could download "Basic Pharmacology of Methadone", "A Matter of Degree" and "It's Only In Your Head"
And I am including some attached publications from latest newsletters -- a bibliography for doctors and a letter to doctors treating methadone patients for other conditions. You don't have to give the doctor this except for the bibliography and where to get information.
Also call the National Clearinghouse on Alcohol & Drugs (NCADI) and order the State Methadone Treatment Guidelines at 1-800-SAY-NO-TO (DRUGS). It is free. You can also order one for the doctor who will treat you.
Once you find the doctor you will have to get approval from the FDA. Here is the person to contact.
Mr Gerald R Hajarian
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
7520 Standish Place
Rockville, MD 20855 USA
Phone 1: (301) 594-1029
He will send the necessary paperwork.
Together, we can make a difference.
Together, we can change the world!
Joycelyn Sue Woods