Information in this forum is not monitored or provided by a medical professional. The information reflects member opinions only. Do not act on advice from these forums without first consulting a qualified medical professional. No professional addiction advisors are recognized by the owners, admins, or moderators, even if the member states such status. All content is copyrighted and protected by Aelius Group. DO NOT use any information that can identify you in these forums. If you do, a google search can link your addiction post to your name causing harm to your future activities including employment.
Hey guys,I was emailed this t'other day,thought it'd be of great interest!
National Alliance of Methadone Advocates (NAMA)
For Immediate Release
Date: January 12, 2004
Contact: Joycelyn Woods and Walter Ginter
Phone: (212) 595-6262
PATIENT DIGNITY PROJECT THREATENED
NAMA has been involved in a Methadone Emergency Database Project which will
create a way to verify a patient’s dose in the case of an emergency. Now we
hear that the Methadone Emergency Database Project, which we have been referring
to as the “Patients Dignity Project”, is not going to be funded. Apparently,
patient dignity, specifically, methadone patient dignity doesn’t have the
Why This Is Project Called The Patient Dignity Project?
The reason we call it the patient dignity project is that it will allow
patients to go to any program and eventually any hospital and get their medicine
immediately in the event of an emergency. Currently, in an emergency, patients
have to wait hours to have their doses verified. When that is not possible, and
most times it is not, patients are given a few milligrams at a time by
worried physicians. Patients are left begging for hours for more medication.
But MORE OFTEN THEY AREN’T MEDICATED AT ALL forcing many patients back to the
streets from which they are escaping. That is why advocates call this the
PATIENT DIGNITY PROJECT.
After September 11 many of us at NAMA became concerned about what would
happen to methadone patients in the event of similar crisis. A number of groups,
including NAMA formed a stakeholder committee to look into possible solutions
for this problem and to insure that patients would never be turned away from
The Methadone Emergency Database Project
Patients need a way to get their medication in times of an emergency. The
project, funded by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) has just
completed its report and is ready to advance to a demonstration project in the New
York, New Jersey, and Connecticut area. The report calls for the establishment
of an emergency database that could be accessed only in the presence of the
patient requesting his or her medication at a place other then the patients
home program. The project calls for the use of a finger imaging system that
besides being inexpensive and easy to maintain fully protects the rights, privacy
and dignity of the patients.
NAMA has visited programs in the states involved. The patients interviewed
were 100% in favor of the project.
What Happens Without The Methadone Emergency Database Project
In the past 2 years there have been at least 3 major emergencies, where
despite the “emergencies plans” called for in the Accreditation Guidelines
patients were left for between 1 and 3 days without medication. The Presidents Day
Storm where at least 9 programs failed to open in the Mid Atlantic states, the
east coast blackout, and the recent northeaster where hundreds of patients in
Boston were left without medication despite repeated warnings about severe
NAMA is aware that many patients were forced to resort to heroin during those
emergencies. There is no way to tell the ultimate impact that this had on
patients being forced into using again. Whatever the effects they can’t be good.
If an emergency database were available those patients could have gone to any
program, and eventually any emergency room, to get their medicine.
What Should Happen Next?
The next stage is just a demonstration project and admittedly it will be
several years before all the kinks are ironed out and it is ready to go national.
But this is the start of a strategy to insure that ALL patients are able to
get their medication no matter the crisis. By not being funded the project will
be delayed further and we can’t wait another thirty-five years.
NAMA believes that this project is important and should take precedence over
other projects. We encourage all advocates, methadone patients, friend
Thanks for posting that Loop! Let's hope that they really get moving on this. You know, sometimes you don't think about things until you need to, but we had an earthquake last month (I live in California)
and I had a passing thought about what would I or anyother methadone patient do if you were unable to get to your clinic to dose or pick up meds due to a disaster or accident. This is a valuable article, thanks again! :)
Information in this forum is not monitored or provided by a medical professional. The information reflects member opinions only. Do not act on advice from these forums without first consulting a qualified medical professional. All content is copyrighted and protected by Aelius Group.