I am a beginning jounalist and photographer at Voices. I joined them nearly at the end of the program and I wish I had been…
It means a lot to be complemented by a real writer. I'd like to clear up a few things about the article though. The whole thing wasn't there, I had to cut it down quite a bit. I do not blame the clinic for my Mum's circumstance and neither does she. We understand that you have to get off of methadone on your on. However in my opinion, methadone is not a life time sentence. With the detox program the goal is to eventually get off of methadone, through counseling and very very slowly lowering your dose. My Mum's detox was a result of not taking her dose for three days, stupidity on her part she says. The methadone has helped her stay away from heroin, and she knows that it'll be a long stretch before she can shake the "dragon". I had more about her detox, but it got cut as well. And yes they do have to follow a lot of procedures. However I do not think the clinic should be able to tell a client if they can lower their dose or not. Wanting to have less is not an addict manuever. I know lowering your dose to an uncomfortable level can cause you to relapse. But if a person feels they're ready to lower it, then they should be able to. Just recently my Mum got all her take homes removed for not going to see a doctor, and they wouldn't give them back until she went. Even though the clinic knows she has a fear of doctors. Having to go down to the clinic two or three extra days would have sufficed. The doctor assigned to her only allows clients to schedule appointments the same day, and they must be amongst the first callers precisely at eight am. The doctor has only seven spaces for clients per day. So every day when she woke up she both had to get to the clinic by eleven am and call in at eight am or a bit earlier, and keep calling until she got through. In order to be one of the first callers. She has her privileges back now, but it took her a week. Even though she hasn't pissed dirty for heroin or any kind of opiates, they still stopped her take homes. I think that if they are going to put her under those conditions, they should consider what effect only being able to make same day appointments will have on her. Some counselors seem to enjoy acting like gods with people's lives. There's a counselor, that I will not name, who has caused pain, distress, and agony to all of his clients. I can't go into detail, but it involves inappropriate touch. Just because you have a degree doesn't mean you know what's best for people in this area of addiction.
Contrary to popular belief (the staff at the methadone clinic), I wrote this in my own perspective. I interviewed six clients, yes one of them was my mother, but she did not offer anything other than a normal interview. I also interviewed three staff members: Dawn, James and Ilann. Dawn and James were the only people I interviewed who were evasive with their answers. Ilann was extremely nice and seems to genuinely care about the clients.
P.S. The title is kind of lame, originaly I wanted to call it "The Methadone Metranome". But it was one of those little details at the end of editing that gets over looked.
Thanks for your thoughts on the matter. I intend on following this article up sometime soon.
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