Pubdate: Sun, 23 Jul 2000
Source: Sun Herald (Australia)
Copyright: 2000 John Fairfax Holdings Ltd
Author: Tony Trimingham


YOUR editorial (The Sun-Herald, July 16) calling for action on the rapid
detox industry is admirable but unfortunately too late for many families.

Not only do we have the tragic death, such as Thi Ngoc Diem Nguyen and
Larissa Hawkins, but many families who have sold everything for treatment
that, in many cases, was never likely to work.

Our organisation has been urging caution and government control since
stories of the "miracle cure" broke three years ago.

Urged on by shock-jock radio presenters and some naive politicians,
entrepreneurial medicos and their backers have not only caused pain and
distress for families, they have set back the potential benefits naltrexone
might offer to those for whom it is suitable.

Another aspect of the naltrexone phenomena is it is now being prescribed by
some medical practitioners who seem to be unaware of its dangers and side
effects and without observing protocols about detoxification before
commencing maintenance treatment.

Tony Trimingham, Family Drug Support, Willoughby
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