Pubdate: Tue, 02 May 2000
Source: Rutland Herald (VT)
Copyright: 2000 Rutland Herald
Address: P.O. Box 668, Rutland VT 05702-0668
Fax: (802) 775-2423
Author: Debbie Ramsdell


Governor Dean says he opposes the distribution of methadone in Vermont
so that heroin addicts will not come to our state. In doing this he
forces our citizens who want to get off heroin to leave Vermont to get
methadone. Does this make sense?

I have several newspapers clippings on methadone from The Burlington
Free Press in 1997. Among them is an article by Sam Hemingway entitled
"Methadone clinic is long overdue." That was three years ago. How much
more overdue is that clinic now? Vermonters have to drive many miles
five to seven days each week to get the necessary methadone in nearby
states. Why must we make it so hard for them to keep a job or to have
a near normal life by getting off heroin?

There is a bill (S.303) to stop this craziness that is being worked on
in the House of Representatives. We need to remind our representatives
that "methadone maintenance treatment, when combined with behavioral
therapies, is recognized as the most effective treatment for heroin
addiction" by a long list of national health and science institutes,
as well as the Vermont Medical Society, according to the report of the
1999 Addiction Study Committee appointed by the Legislature.

In order to override Governor Dean's promised veto of S.303, it must
pass in the Senate and House by a two-thirds majority. The Senate has
already passed it by a vote of 26 to 4. It will need 101 votes in the
House. Please call and/or write to your representative in Montpelier
and ask one or two friends to do the same.

- ---
MAP posted-by: Greg