Former Duluth clinic patient: Success depends on personal responsibilityI was admitted to the clinic in July of 2010 and as of this date, September 2012, I am now out of the clinic, drug free and have my life back.
By: Beau Griffith, Duluth News Tribune
This is being written in support of the Lake Superior Treatment Center, aka, "The Methadone Clinic." I was admitted to the clinic in July of 2010 and as of this date, September 2012, I am now out of the clinic, drug free and have my life back.
Methadone, Heroin, Oxycontin, Vicodin, hydrocodone, crystal meth, crack, people shooting up ambien, etc. ... It boils down to the education provided to each individual on "how bad does one want sobriety?" how bad does one want to be drug free? how bad does one want a life free of drugs? It's ALL about taking responsibility for themselves.
Alcohol, another mood altering drug, like methadone, is legal, and like methadone, CAN and DOES cause death when used and abused. It is also a PERSONAL CHOICE. We have choices. To be more exact, if its not clear by now. We have a choice to get our dose of methadone; to walk out of that clinic and our choice to use another drug or in some cases, more methadone then what has been legally prescribed to each individual and then experience the consequences - good or bad.
Contrary to public opinion, methadone did not get me high. My prescription of methadone was monitored by the Doctor AND the RN's and LPN's and along with the therapy (I was required to participate in), I was able to continue as a productive member of this society. It has given me the ability to continue my life as a working father raising my son. I presume to speak for the many others in the clinic that share what I have today - a life. AND then "there are less fortunate who cannot or will not give themselves to this simple program" - according to alcoholics anonymous.
Plain common sense and simple. Lets not split hairs here. Addiction is addiction-whether its alcohol or whatever. AND it speaks to the choices we have as human beings. We choose to use other drugs to "get high". We choose to live a life that is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle free of drugs UNLESS we are a part of the "less unfortunate" meaning not having the cognitive ability to grasp the concepts of recovery.
After reading all the bruhaha about the clinic, I decided to speak out. In all fairness, I believe that your newspaper should print the other side of the story. "There is two sides to every story" it is said. With that being said then here is my side of this issue.
Being born with a physical ailment, and after being prescribed opiates, I became addicted to the medication. Soon I was buying pills off the street, buying pills from people who were also getting their prescriptions only to sell to people like me, so I could remain somewhat of a productive member of my community and our society. At the same this took away from my family.
Physicians need to take some responsibility in this nationwide epidemic as well. But at the end of the day, it comes down how bad does one want to be drug free? How badly does one want to free of chasing the high? How far will one go to take responsibility for their lives? These are critical questions in any treatment program. I took advantage of the counseling offered to me; I took advantage of the education I received. I made the choice to take my prescribed dose of methadone and NOTHING more.
I had many opportunities to use other powerful drugs off the street - I had offers to sell my methadone after earning my PRIVILEGE of take outs and the many other "offers" put out there. BUT I CHOSE NOT TO DO THAT. The "clinic" as I experienced it did urine tests, did conduct bottle checks on me randomly and I watched other people lose their privileges due to failed bottle checks, and dirty UA's and it was those people who chose to use other drugs or sell their prescribed methadone.
I visited the clinic doctor on a regular basis and yes I could have manipulated the system and asked for MORE methadone but I chose not to. Ironically, the people that are bad mouthing the clinic are the ones who got caught doing things they were not supposed to be doing - including former staff.
It is sad that people are dying from methadone - yes. However, how many people die from drunk driving, innocent victims like children, how many die from heroin overdoses, how many people die from pill overdoses, how many people die from many other societal ills out there?
There is a common theme in all these scenarios is - they made the choice to buy the methadone and shoot it up, they made the choice to drink to excess and drive and they made the choice to take more pills chasing the high. They made the choice to sell their methadone and then overdose on something else because they were sick. These are only a few examples. So please people before you condemn this program - take a look around and put the blame where it belongs.
I am off methadone and successfully completed the program at Lake Superior Treatment Center AKA "the methadone clinic". I am a functioning human being, father, son, uncle, brother, and friend as a result of my choices and this program. Some have been there longer but again, its all individual and if we so choose we will be successful.