Methadone Treatment and Alcoholism Diagnosis

Methadone Prescribing

Just back from the NEAR conference in Ireland where Professor Carlton Erickson (in a discourse on ‘How Neuroscience Helps Us Understand Addiction Recovery’) referred to the four characteristics of a good methadone programme.  In his view, these were:

  1. The dose has to be taken in front of the pharmacist.
  2. There has to be a regular urine test to ensure no cheating.
  3. The client should have a job so that he/she can pay for their methadone.
  4. The client must receive regular counselling to come off the methadone.

Prof. Erickson is a professor of pharmacology and director of the addiction science research and education centre at the University of Texas.  I wonder what a Scottish / British audience would make of his prescription?

Three Stages of Alcohol Use

I also liked the Prof. Erickson’s three stages of alcohol use / abuse and his three analogies to compare them with:

  • I like a drink (as in I like bananas)
  • I want a drink (as in I want to marry him /her)
  • I need a drink (as in I need air to breathe)

Obviously it is the crossing over from ‘want’ to ‘need’ which is when the disease of alcoholism has come into effect, and it is never possible to go back from ‘need’ to ‘want’ or ‘like’.

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