Pubdate: Fri, 07 Jul 2000
Source: Bangor Daily News (ME)
Copyright: 2000, Bangor Daily News Inc.
Author: Dave Michon


Dr. Sally Weiss (BDN, July 3) now comes forward to deliver her kicks at the
lynching of methadone treatment ongoing in Bangor. Her ''two decades of
experience demand expression''? Her experience with competing forms of
treatment! Why is it that practitioners of these other forms of treatment
feel so strongly that they must deprive Bangor patients of even the option
of this proven treatment? Advocates of methadone do not say the other
treatments must be banned.

If Dr. Weiss really has two decades of experience, she would know that there
are levels of severity. The new drugs she speaks of may help some cases, and
Buprenex should definitely become part of the array of options Bangor
presents against the temptations of heroin if it ever makes it out of this
Congress, but even its staunchest supporters concede that its limited
agonist activity will be woefully inadequate for advanced opiate addiction.
Bangor citizens are being presented with a larger question, one which always
ends up on the agenda in these controversies: Why don't they want us to have
even the option of this treatment? Do any of these vocal opponents have
children or loved ones who are addicted? If the subject were cancer, we'd be
seeing the radiation therapy specialists trying to ban chemotherapy under
the Bangor model currently working against methadone therapy. Look to their
financial motives.

I suggest Bangor put this to a vote, a vote of those whose families have
been affected by this syndrome, not those whose incomes would be challenged
by this superior treatment. Bangor must be a top-heavy town.

Dave Michon, Spooner, Wis.
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