Stop Methadone Deaths

To discuss and make the public aware of methadone dangers.
 
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A Call For Voices *This is a call for voices. If you are a loved one of someone currently using methadone, or a loved one of someone who has passed away because of methadone use I would love to hear from you. I am a documentary filmmaker working one a film that will expose the realities of methadone and the effects it has on our society. I am asking for stories to share that will help reform regulation of this drug, and also take away the social stigma of what it is to be on methadone. * * * *My commitment to this film comes from a very real place in my life and the life of my family. My father has been on methadone for over 35 years. My brother for five. My family battles regularly with the health issues methadone creates for both my father and brother, as well as the social stigma's that come along with someone on this medication. * * * *I am driven to explore all angles of the methadone culture. I want to hear from the loved ones who have lost someone to methadone deaths, the loved ones who are losing someone to methadone life, I want to hear from the methadone users, and I want all the same from the other side. I plan to reach out and explore what the people at the clinics believe, I want to hear from the pharmaceutical companies and the government run committees that "regulate" this drug. * * * *Please help me bring a strong voice out to the world that tells the full story of methadone. You can contact me directly by emailing voiceweneed@gmail.com. Tell me about yourself, what drew you to reach out and where you are from. I look forward to hearing from you.* * * *All the best!* * * *Angelica*

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 Australia News

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Bren ONeal
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PostSubject: Australia News   Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:48 pm

MATT Smith (not his real name) was trying to shake his decade-long drug habit. But then he moved to Gladstone.

Taking heroin, speed and methadone, he fought his inner demons to "stay clean", but it didn't take long to relapse, last year.

Matt said he got back into the drug scene through a mate in industry.

He said he had never dabbled in dealing drugs, but made connections to the underworld soon after moving to town.

"People will approach you at the shops and ask if you can get marijuana on the street," Matt said.

"If I did grow up in Gladstone, I would be in the middle of that (dealing) circle".

Matt said speed, pills and pot were mostly dealt in town, with the "city drug" heroin hard to come by.

The gear is made in car boots, motel rooms and backyards.

Before moving to Gladstone with his mate, the former Adelaide resident said he had been clean for two and a half years.

The pair initially avoided the drug scene, but then Matt caved.

"Every time I take drugs I enjoy it too much," he said.

To beat the habit, he even launched his own Gladstone rehabilitation service called Smart Recovery.

Matt ran the group for six years, until October last year.

While he said he had turned some people away from drugs, he said he was no longer in the right frame of mind to be running the program.

Recently Matt relapsed onto speed and methadone, but insists his drug taking has slowed up considerably.

"There is help available...it is a decision you have to make. It's not an easy decision."
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PostSubject: Re: Australia News   Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:20 pm

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/life-sentence-for-gary-edmund-brown-over-maylands-double-murder/story-fnhocxo3-1226745451935
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PostSubject: Re: Australia News   Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:06 am

http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2013/s3879629.htm
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PostSubject: Mother charged in 9 y/o sons death   Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:51 am

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/285616/manslaughter-trial-methadone-death
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PostSubject: Re: Australia News   Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:24 am

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/seven-arrested-in-drug-raids/story-fni0xqi4-1226789257805


A MAJOR heroin syndicate in Sydney's southwest has been shut down and seven people have been arrested, police say.

Heroin, cannabis, methadone, cash, electronic devices and drug paraphernalia were seized when officers raided properties in Mount Pritchard and Ashcroft early on Monday morning.

Six men and a woman were arrested.

"We will allege this group was supplying heroin to a large number of local drug users, and we're very confident that yesterday's arrests will significantly stifle their operations," Green Valley Local area crime manager Detective Inspector Brendan Bernie said.

The group - aged between 19 and 58 - are due to appear in court on various drug charges early next year.
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PostSubject: Re: Australia News   Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:49 am

Liquid handcuffs shackle addicts

Miranda Devine •
The Sunday Telegraph •
March 09, 201412:00AM





















































LEO DiCaprio and Jonah Hill make drug use seem hip and hilarious in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Addiction is anything but.

Take the case of Tamworth couple Brett Johnston and Rachelle Kealy, former heroin addicts who have been hooked on methadone for 14 years.

When they finally decided they’d had enough, the medical establishment which had fed their addiction abandoned them in their hour of need.

Like 50,000 other methadone users in Australia, the drug that was supposed to wean them off heroin had become a prison.

Condemned to a twilight existence of zombie addiction on welfare in Tamworth — with rotting teeth, sleep problems, depleted sex drive, diminished sense of taste or smell — they were locked into daily visits to the local chemist for their fix.

But 41 days ago the couple went cold turkey. They have nursed each other though the agonies of withdrawal.






Leonardo DiCaprio is Jordan Belfort and Jonah Hill is Donnie Azoff in The Wolf of Wall Street.Source: Supplied


“It was like being run over by a train,” says Rachelle, 44, who started smoking marijuana and moved to heroin in her early 20s.

“Emotionally, you’re crying all the time, you’re throwing up. It feels like someone shoving knives in your bones.”

Methadone is supplied by the taxpayer to addicts so they can function without going through withdrawal agonies.

But rather than being a short-term crutch, it just substitutes one opiate addiction for another. The “liquid handcuffs” are a form of social control.

Brett, 41, had swapped to methadone substitute buprenorphine but found it didn’t work. He was getting withdrawal symptoms anyway, so they decided to kick the habit.

For the first 26 days, they say, they were “abandoned” by doctors and the local drug and alcohol service.

Rachelle claims when they begged for pain relief they were advised to use methadone. “They are trying to force us to stay on methadone,”­ ­she said.

Hunter New England Health’s drug and alcohol service has defended its program, claiming that “treatment teams” work with drug users.

But Brett’s 76-year-old father Keith told The Northern Daily Leader the couple had been left to their own devices.



“They need support and counselling and they’re just not getting it”


“They need support and counselling and they’re just not getting it,” he said.

Tamworth councillor and anti-drugs campaigner Warren Woodley, who meets with the couple regularly, said last week he was “pretty disgusted at the way the whole thing is handled. It doesn’t appear that there is any compassion for methadone users.”

The couple did manage to get a prescription for pain relief drug MS Contin, which they can use to combat the worst aspects of withdrawal.

But this is the problem with methadone. Spruiked as a way for heroin addicts to live normally again, it condemns them to indefinite addiction.

“There was never any intention to get them off methadone,” says retired pharmacist Phil O’Grady, who recalls zombies lining up for their fix in Fairfield in the 1990s. “We don’t give them the opportunity.”

While methadone had been around since 1969, it took off in the mid-1980s as a way to reduce drug crime.

The Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation, told a US conference in 1992 one of its greatest achievements was that: “We still can’t supply enough methadone to keep up with demand; capacity is growing around 10 per cent per annum. We now have more people on methadone per capita than in the US.” Some achievement.

But there is an alternative: naltrexone. Instead of substituting one addiction for another, this drug blocks the opiate receptors in the brain.

The hero of naltrexone is Perth gynecologist Dr George O’Neil, who developed a long-lasting implant as a way to help heroin-addicted mothers.

The detoxification process can be dangerous if not done properly but O’Neill has successfully weaned thousands of addicts off heroin, amphetamines and alcohol.

He told a NSW parliamentary inquiry into drug treatment last year that his naltrexone clinic had a success rate of 90 per cent in the first four months, and 85-90 percent in the second four months. Hard-core users need implants every 18 months for four or five years. Every year 40 to 45 patients travel to Perth for treatment. Despite his successes, O’Neil is attacked by methadone advocates. His argument is that methadone is for people who want to continue as addicts. Naltrexone is for people who want to be free of drugs.

The great failure of the harm minimisation system pushed by drug legalisers is that it does not support people who want to be free of addiction.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/liquid-handcuffs-shackle-addicts/story-fni0cx12-1226849094746
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