In the same lifeboat with the rest of country
Nice to se someone mention City Magazine. I wrote "A Night at The Buffet." for issue one and now I see the bar is in Esquire's top 10.
Hope you are O.K. If you need anything you can call me. My name is Ken. No strings attached.Your mom has my number and it is also listed. I knew you when your mom worked for K.X.C.I. Anyway,sometimes anyone can use a helping hand,or a friend.
PS You wouldn't remember this but while pregnant with you,Joyce and I were confronted under the 4th ave tunnel. Does that ring a bell?
PPS Sorry to hear about your Dad.
I would like to respond to Jodi Franklin's well written piece called clinical addiction. As a freelance writer and a methadone patient I feel it is high time Methadone Maintenance is debated. I do sense a great deal of anger in Jodi's writing but so much of it is justified. As difficult as it is to be medicated everyday what can be worse then going to the clinic everyday to watch your mom get medicated and on occasion chastised.
As good as your writing is I feel that it a few issues need further explaining. When a person first gets on methadone maintenance they do have to come to the clinic everyday because of the potency of the drug. For everyone's good the staff must see if you are serious about giving up drugs and not trying some addict maneuver. Believe me that does happen as addicts are very creative. After you drop a few clean U.A. privileges are automatically granted. After a few months of clean urines you may be going to the clinic once a week and if you are totally clean a year it can even go down to once every two weeks. While I would not blame your mom because addiction is a decease but it is a little silly and immature to blame the clinic for enforcing federal guidelines.
Like all programs methadone has it's failures,although statistically it's funding is kept alive by it's high "cure" rate. Now some may argue that taking a medication everyday is not a cure but if opiate addiction is a disease methadone cures you in the sense that it lets you function without craving heroin.As Parris Hilton would say "That's Huge!" Sorry for that!
As far as controlling your dose the first few weeks you are on the program you are allowed to adjust your dose. Even after you have been on a while,most of the time you can get increases or decreases.Of course if you are abusing drugs and telling coverup stories you do lose credibility but it is that way on all programs,methadone or not.
I will be traveling to New York in August for about 10 days and I will not have to deal with finding programs. The fact is they actually are giving me two extra bottles and a note explaining my situation to the airlines. In some ways this clinic runs more rationally then most.
All this doesn't mean I don't see your point. While I try and keep a low profile and stay clean I have managed to lose all my privileges twice. Once for losing my bottles after a funeral and once for taking the doses out of order when I was on twice a month pick ups.I was unaware that they had a whole slew of rules when you get that level of trust.I was berserk with anger but when I talked with friends I had to admit that it was my error. I could have wallowed in my loathing for the clinic and get high or I could start over again and have "weeklies" in 3-4 months.I ended up asking for accelerated urine tests which sped up the process. I won't say this was easy,in fact I felt suicidal until I sorted things out but I ended up meeting some great new friends on my everyday bus trip so there was a modest upside
With so many big choices in life it can be tempting to play the victim. I have learnt that this can be another addiction.It's a long story but trust me life feels better when you are not deceiving yourself by blaming everyone else. For me that was the main road to failure even when it was partially true.
I want to make it clear that I did enjoy your piece although the big issue of maintenance vs detox was omitted.Perhaps your next article? Painful as it may be your mom and I stand a chance to be on methadone for life. was intrigued by your mom's seizure I wish I knew more. One time I was trying to kick methadone but at the (15mg point) end I could not sleep nor eat and ended up having multiple seizures.
This is where I totally agree with you about the control issue. If I had been free to take strong sleeping medication I would have got past the physical detox but the clinic threatened to take away my privileges if I took any medication and I didn't have the strength to battle them. Perhaps something like that happened to your mom to cause the seizure.
Glad to hear that your mom only has to go once a week. It is inspirational to know she is doing well. I also want to make it clear that I loved your work even if my experiences are difer somewhat.I think you are very talented young writer and I am hoping that I am wrong or you just lose the anger I sensed. I bet it would make you an even better writer
PS I agree that it would be great if Methadone got you off drugs but that isn't the real goal. They are trying to get you to a "blockage" dose so you can't feel opiates. Then they want you on the same dose daily until you have a tolerance to your dose so it can't get you high. Maybe it's not the best solution,and certainly not for everyone, but it works for me and right now it seems to be helping your mom. Just imagine if we had no program and were still on the streets trying to cop. All I can visualize is jail or death without the help I have received.
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