Just spent a rather criminally waste of time advocating for a guy at New Zealand’s Capital Coast District Health Board (CCDHB) Addiction Services (Addict DisServices).
There a whole heap of errors and facts that could be argued in their statements of reasoning as to why they have taken all take home doses away from this pensioner with cancer and sharp pains in his lower abdomen. Pain in lower abdomen after having HEP C for twenty years, liver cancer, radiation, chemotherapy and open operations? Wow. Surprising much?
He wants to reduce off methadone, as long as sevredol (MST) or other concoctions are available as the need is required for his acknowledged pain management.
They will not have a bar of it.
When discussing the fact that people cannot just jump off methadone as it does not work (their words, not mine) the subject of me came up. They were saying no one has been successful, it is highly not recommended, etc etc etc. A few points I could take issue with there.
ONE OF THEM BEING
NO ONE HAS JUST JUMPED OFF AND BEEN “SUCCESSFUL”.
Their definitions of “successful”, “recovery”, “addiction” and “service user input” are very different from mine.
Their definition of “NO ONE” is pretty clear.
But, wait on, I jumped off pretty much 80mg’s every day a year and a half ago.
I did. You can read about it on the worlds shittest blog. Day 13 was hard. Day 500 not so much.
The good doctor, Sarah B, then looked interested (for first time since we walked in) and told me I should join the methadone waiting list to get on the program myself.
I commented about her being funnier than Lenny Henry.
I think I hid my anger at the stupidity of the situation well.
Unfortunately my friend would not give them a piss test as he had been to the toilet, is a pensioner, and an old man. If he does not want to, or is not able to, give a piss test a simple advocate such as myself is not going to sway him.
I would have given them one myself. I even offered to. They obviously think everyone is on drugs. The amount of information they twist and distort without anyone ever noticing (…. ooops … cat is out the bag now…. !)
Seriously —- offering me a place on the methadone programme without any diagnosis other than my own verbal assurances I had stopped taking a lot of methadone last year. No worries about my arthritis in spine. No worries about equine cordia. No worries about ADHD. No worries about the facts I don’t use opiates, alcohol, benzo’s.,….. No worries at all.
“HEY, EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE NOT ON DRUGS,
HAVE NO DEPENDENCE ISSUES…
THE RATE OF “FAILURE” IS SO HIGH WE ARE
ADVISING YOU TO GET ON METHADONE.”
CCDHB ADDICTION SERVICE, Nov 2014
That way they get to keep their funding and probably keep “addiction” in the medical model. But seriously, if recovery means WORK and SOCIAL and FAMILY goals, then we could be on dangerous ground.
Recovery is what the user wants it be. My life, in some ways, would benefit from large scale opiate use. I would take up long distance running, start working as a builder again and have dreams of becoming the worlds oldest and most arthritic pro footballer.
Maybe they really need to start looking at service user happiness.
Maybe they should read some Bruce K Alexander and Gabor Mate.
And work very hard on their definition of “failure”.