Letter to The Editor

The Editor,
The Canberra Times.

Dear Sir,

Wodak’s letter (Canberra Times 24/03/06) confirms that methadone is more than a drug – its followers have raised it to virtually to the status of a religious cultic symbol. Wodak’s recitation is technically true but not the whole truth; his comments appear far-sighted, but are in reality myopic.

The Australian physician attending a conference of the world leading addiction scientists undergoes a professional culture shock far more severe than a mere “learning curve”. When the directors of the NIH openly state that they are worried about the dramatic shortcomings of methadone treatment to suppress the immune system and stimulate HIV infection, to inhibit cell growth and renewal; and straight out increases cell death rates; then not only must one’s thinking undergo a dramatic and radical paradigmatic shift, but the whole Australian style methadone eulogy starts to look as threadbare as the emperor’s new clothes! They are obviously worried sick about imminent class actions.

In his ode Wodak neglects to mention that methadone does everything BUT take people off drugs; rather it indefinitely extends and greatly intensifies addiction. What about the 590 Australian people 1997-2001 to whose deaths methadone contributed? What about the explosion in the use of many drugs which methadone fosters, or the rampant Hepatitis C infestation? What about the thousands of heroin dealers on methadone? What about the 90% male osteoporosis rates or appalling dental destruction? If Wodak is correct that methadone and buprenorphine, the modern “M&B”, have hitherto served us well then let them take their rightful place in history. But to suggest that because this is all medicine has been able to achieve up till now, the great quest to save our children and our streets from the ravages of drugs must be abandoned, is to miss the exciting scientific and technical advances with which leading journals are replete. We dare not surrender our freedoms either to agenda driven academics or the hippies of yesteryear.

(Dr.) Stuart Reece
39 Gladstone Rd.,
Highgate Hill,
QLD, 4101.
Ph.: 07 3844-4000.


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