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Deaths from Opioid Overdose Tripled

US Deaths from opioid overdose tripled between 1999 and 2006 according to CDC Data. The drug leading the charge for the grave was methadone.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/709744?src=mpnews&spon=12&uac=89474MT
I talked to a junkie on bus#9 the other day who had been through hell but not died. He had a good idea what his protocol would be for getting people unhooked from methadone. It involved taking pts through a series of other high powered drugs, each to be given for a time period just short of the dependence/addiction-inducing timeframe. He was sure his method would work.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
neptunia67
Oct. 3rd, 2009 02:14 am (UTC)
The junkie's theory is interesting. Methadone use is high in England, as is heroine use, of course. It is the drug of choice and what most of the street junkies use. The government prescribes methadone to get people off heroine, but from what I heard and read while living there, it didn't really work. They just became addicted to the methadone instead and many were able to keep their prescriptions at high levels... the idea was to get them onto methadone and taper them off over time.
liveonearth
Oct. 3rd, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
If only they did taper off.....there must be a better way. In my view, addiction is more mental than chemical, so any treatment plan that involves drugs but not a mental shift is destined to fail.
beauregard45
Oct. 3rd, 2009 12:55 pm (UTC)
there is a study in there...
I think you could call it "the street protocols.." Who better to know how to work and manage the beast of addiction than addicts. Plenty of time in the saddle there for them. A serialed compilation of vignettes of people who have battled addiction and how they worked themselves out of it, or thought they could.

Studied medical research yet? You could easily have randomization (which bus you took...), time frame would be at your discretion, theory to be developed,and you have plenty of subjects there in Portland. Keep it to one or two variables and it might go somewhere...hmmmmmmmmmm?.........

I give methadone about once a month at work. I wonder about how it affects the pt. It has a long half life as I have been told so the buzz is stretched out...and whatever you do, DON"T CHEW IT!....
liveonearth
Oct. 3rd, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
Re: there is a study in there...
What happens if you chew it????
beauregard45
Oct. 3rd, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
Re: there is a study in there...
chewing. If a pill is in the sustained release form, chewing it negates the slow release of the medication and it is as if a person took multiple doses that then release at the same time. Result? Instant rush. Stonerville. Same as crushing and then snorting Oxycontin (a sustained release form of oxycodone).

But this does not address half life of a drug. Methadone is maybe not packaged in a sustained release form, but it has a very long half life. I do believe this is the trait that the clinicians are hoping will allow the addict to then transition down in dosage, and eventually off of an opioid.

So, for my understanding, chewing of a pain med is never a good idea, and the same goes for things like ambien, some stomach meds, and any drug meant to be dispersed in the body over time.

Lots of demented seniors in nursing homes will chew instead of swallow their pills. They either then spit them out, a real mess, or swallow them in a masticated form. Usually not a good idea. But they just don't comprehend it any other way.
beauregard45
Oct. 3rd, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)
different strokes for different folks...
i think addiction potential is variable from one person to the next. The feeling I get is that it is not the same for every person. Some folks are pre-disposed to it chemically in their brain, others are not. So, if it takes 51% of a 100% whole person to be an addict, then whether the 51% or more is caused by chemical or mental, it does not matter. You can be in a bad relationship but be mildly pre-disposed chemically, say 35% mental, and 16% chemical, and wala, you have an addict.
In this previous scenario, if you work on the mental, you can help the addict.
or, the other way around. But I do think some folks are a bit more pre-disposed to being a chemically (brain driven) addict.
maybe a bit simple, but that is the feeling I get.
anecdotally, I am going to Colorado next weekend to visit family, notably my father. He was a long term alcoholic until about 49 years old. I get the feeling he had a strong pre-disposition to a chemically derived dependency.
just the opinion of an ACOA (adult child of an alcoholic...)
liveonearth
Oct. 3rd, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
Re: different strokes for different folks...
The irony of this all is that mental IS chemical. Change either one and you change the other.

Hope your trip to CO goes well.
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