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Posted by Jeanne re:brother Patrick on August 03, 2000 at 14:53:38:

In Reply to: Re: recovery of a herion addict posted by Jenny on December 05, 1999 at 21:54:46:

: Not many opiate addicts can be helped by abstinence and 12-Step programs. The grim reality is only about 5% of opiate (maybe less) can actually be sucessful without opiate replacement such as methadone. Where did you get the idea that quality of life suffers for people on methadone? One becomes physically dependant on methadone, but, it sure beats dying. No one condemns diabetics for taking insulin. Why should opiate addicts be dondemned for taking a medicaton that helps them to live a normal life? Opiate addiction is a disease. The brain does not produce chemicals like in a 'normal' person. All the opiate addicts is doing by using illicit narcotics is trying to self-medicate. Methadone is a legal, safe medication that serves the purpose without having to resort to sometimes dangerous street drugs. I have had many friends and loved ones who (understandably) failed at the 12-Step programs. They were made to feel like moral failures because they 'couldn't admit their powerlessness' over their drug. They were made to feel like moral failures. If methadone was not stigmized as much as it is by our society, my loved ones would still be alive. I sincerely believe that. Like I said, I hope your son makes it on his abstinence program. If not...please don't let him die. Methadone is some people's only chance at life. Just like insulin is necessary for some diabetics to live. I did not realize probably like most people how difficult it is for herion addicts to kick their habit....I thank God for running across this site. My brother is an addict and has been for a long time. He can get off of it for a little while, and then he is right back on it. I like a lot of people thought that it was out of choice, but now I see that is not true! My husband,myself,our 3 & 7 year old and my Mother give him lots of love, but mine and his 2 older brothers will not have anything to do with him. Now I see that what we have been doing by giving him love and a place to live is the right thing to do.

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