Seeing past the present –
May 29, 2020 –
What is your reaction to the move from daily clinic visits to monthly prescriptions?
One big concern is the possibility of misuse and overdose. There is lots of evidence that methadone is misused, which is why the daily clinic visits have been the norm. And it is fairly straightforward to cook buprenorphine – another addiction medicine – in a way that it is easier to get high.
It’s really a stressful, alienating time. For those of us who are healthy and may be able to work from home and have good social support, it’s still stressful. But if you’re somebody who’s on the brink of succumbing to their addiction or working through it, it’s asking a lot to give them a big pile of drugs, with directions to make them last a month.
What are your thoughts on virtual doctor appointments?
It’s encouraging to see medical professionals adopting telemedicine during these uncertain times. It’s certainly not safe to have lots of people coming in and out of treatment centres. Especially because people with substance use disorders are probably more vulnerable to coronavirus, as they are more likely to be homeless, poor, smokers with lung or cardiovascular disease, under- or uninsured, or have experienced serious health and socioeconomic issues from drug addiction.