The Miracle of Methadone
Methadone is truly a miracle drug, a relatively safe, non-addictive escape from the pain and suffering of withdrawal. Equally important, it is a proven medicating panacea that can open an addict’s heroin-ravaged mind to counseling and, eventually, lead him or her to abstinence and rehabilitation.
Heroin addicts are fortunate to have methadone available as the first step toward rehab and the hope and healing it helps make possible. Those addicted to other opiates, namely cocaine and illegally obtained pharmaceuticals, have no such medicinal miracle to help avoid the pain of withdrawal, and the overdose deaths that so often accompany it.
Turning Point Clinic patients are administered methadone by a team of highly trained and certified professionals headed by Dr. Frank Chika and a staff comprised of 78 medical professionals, including one of the very first mental health care units in the treatment field. Completing Turning Point’s staff composition are PHD and Masters Degree Recipients who join our medical professionals in giving our patients the opportunity to gain the freedom of lasting recovery.
The Clinic is open from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 52 weeks a year. Accessibility is easy, with five treatment windows in the reception area. New patients need no appointment. They may simply “walk in.”
Personal and group counseling by certified drug abuse counselors are the important next steps on the road to recovery, helping the patient see his or her way out of addiction and back to a healthier, more productive, drug free life. All of the dangers of continued drug abuse—including the risk of death by overdose—are explored and explained. And the effective alternatives to the hopeless feeling that comes with addiction are supplied and encouraged. All of the patient’s questions are answered. All of their personal problems they wish to share will be seriously addressed and helpful advice provided. In short, addicts who once believed there was no way out of the grip of heroin are given resolve-building ways to take back their lives.
Mental Health Care
Because heroin is not a disease but a chemical attack on the brain and the way we think and feel about ourselves and our life, those who are deep into addiction may need immediate mental health care, including the availability of proper medications. This, of course, will be administered by a mental health care specialist when the patient is referred to our Mental Health Unit by a drug abuse counselor. Mental health care has become a key component in today’s most successful rehabilitation and recovery programs.
Optional Spiritual Counseling
Many Turning Point patients find the optional component of our treatment program, Spiritual Counseling, central to the successful establishment of a new, drug free life. There is often a painful void in the lives of those addicted to drugs. Former friends, neighbors and family members may choose to avoid them. And that empty existence cannot be filled by fellow addicts and drug dealers who are part of the problem. But this can be replaced by the love, support and the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Our patient tracking records show that those in our treatment program who choose to invite him into their lives are even more likely to break free from heroin addiction than those who walk alone on their journey out of addiction hell.
In the 13 years that Turning Point Clinic has been battling the effects of heroin addiction in Baltimore, we have learned that every addict who enters a methadone treatment program is one less person who may be desperately driven by heroin withdrawal to commit crimes to pay for their drugs. In other words, there is one less potential criminal on our streets that day or night. This is especially true in impoverished neighborhoods in the inner city. But drug related crime is now becoming a problem in suburban and rural communities as well.
Methadone Treatment, therefore, is also one way to help save the addict from possible jail time. Turning Point records indicate that the number of patients in East Baltimore who come to us for treatment rises by 20 per cent when their Welfare check runs out and they no longer have that source of money to pay for their drugs. The more addicts who turn to methadone treatment instead of to crime, the safer are the community, the family and the addicts themselves.
Police authorities have for years correctly warned that “we simply cannot arrest our way out of this drug problem.” But there are ways we can prevent more of the crime it fosters. And one proven way is methadone.