Pubdate: Sat, 18 Jan 1997
Source: Home News & Tribune (NJ)
Author: John M. Koons

In her Dec. 15 letter, Debbie Miskolczi stated her horror in the manner
substance-abuse programs were prioritized by funding. My late reply follows
upon hearing from drug-treatment researchers and practitioners worldwide to
whom I have shown this letter. They were just as horrified by Miskolczi's

In stating long-term residential treatment facilities were needed for
addiction, she also condemned methadone programs as "fast, ineffective,
temporary solutions to a tremendous drug problem". Miskolczi introduced these
remarks with credentials to give merit to her statements (having a master's
degree in social work).

The people who have contacted me also were knowledgeable in drug treatment -
doctors and other professionals -  some of whom were program directors.
Despite their diversified backgrounds, all rejected most of the content of
this letter and substantiated their dissents with research and empirical
findings. Most also pointed out that methadone programs were unparalleled in
their efficacy in reducing drug use, death, crime, and disease among heroin
users, and that their biggest problem was politicization leading to over-
regulation from misinformation.

If there is any "real help" needed on this issue, it is in the area of
examining accomplished research without political and moral prejudices.

John M. Koons