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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Problems at a Privately Owned Methadone Clinic

    My question involves injury or loss that occurred in the state of:MA. I have gone through serious emotional torment due to a privately-owned, for profit methadone clinic that has a resident general practitioner and nurse practitioner. I am currently on disabilty for severe agoraphobia/depression and physical issues. I had been on this clinic for approx 18 years with no incidents of outside drug use, or any other problems. I was familiar with the place and the people and was receiving 5 take home doses per week. Without prior notice(not that it would have really made a difference), they changed their already supervised urine checks, and began not only supervising, but only allowing me a couple of minutes and threatening me that if I did not perform the test, I would lose my take home status. I immediately knew this would create a problem for me and started having trouble with serious anxiety. To make a long story shorter, by the end of May I was unable to perform the test, and they made me go there every single day. This brought on severe panic attacks (uncontrollable shaking which I still do), hyperventilating, total loss of appetite and weight loss, uncontrollable sobbing, etc. This only made them give me additional urine tests (all negative for other drug use by the way) which ultimately forced me to do a very quick detox in order to spare myself from the daily torture treatments. I was never allowed to speak to or see the resident doctor. My clinic therapist told me that he said I was shaking because I was detoxing, but as my private psychiatrist can attest to, the shaking started well before the detox got underway. In fact, last August he sent them a letter asking that they return at least some of my take homes, as he said I "was in crisis". I originally got on the clinic in order to deal with emotional and psychological issues including failed and successful suicide attempts, and also chronic pain related medical issues. The methadone had been working for me very well for all those years, and my clinic therapist would periodically encourage me to detox, as my life appeared to be so well balanced (though I rarely left my house). I finished on the clinic at the beginning of Sept. and am now in such pethetic and hopeless condition that I have begun to give my possessions away to people passing by my home. If I don't kill myself, I believe I will die of natural causes due to extreme depression, not eating, and just not caring. I am 52 years old and have had major illnesses such as hepC. I really feel as though I will not last much longer, do I have any legal recourse? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Problems at a Privately Owned Methadone Clinic

    If you've recently detoxed from about 20 years of opiate/opioid medication, I would hope that your counselor would have warned you of the probability that you would experience a prolonged period of depression or dysthymia. Your opiate receptors have been constantly stimulated for decades, and it's anything but unusual to experience a period of being "down" that last for months (or longer). Some people bounce back after a period of adjustment, while others find that they need some level of safe, doctor-prescribed opioid medication to stay safe (not seek street drugs or relapse) and to be functional. You can talk to your doctor about a medication other than methadone, such as Suboxone, that will allow you to be on a long-term low "blocking" dose of medication without having to go to a methadone clinic.

    Methadone clinics can, and should, test and monitor their clients for the use and abuse of other drugs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Problems at a Privately Owned Methadone Clinic

    Hello Mr Knowitall, I appreciate your concern, but I am not in a detox situation now. I am in the same serious depression (amongst other problems) that put me on the clinic to begin with. The thing I'm asking about here, is that by ignoring my legal disabilty for which I am getting a monthly check, and making me report to the clinic 7 days a week, even after being warned by my personal psychiatrist that I was in "crisis", they have pushed me into a severe state of panic, stress, and depression that has me in a dangerous predicament. I've had these emotional issues all of my life, and the clinic was well aware of them and my disability. My trouble with agoraphobia is now 10 times worse than it was before and I am seriously housebound unless heavily medicated. I feel as though I have been injured permanently. Can anything be done legally to teach these places that people are individuals and should not be treated like garbage because we have problems that society wants to ignore. Animal shelters treat their animals with more dignity, caring and respect than this place treated it's human clients. I actually kept a running diary of the situation, and it accurately describes the mishandling of power and abuse they inflicted upon me...and I was a stellar and well-liked client. I am grateful for your opinion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: Problems at a Privately Owned Methadone Clinic

    Hi Keeno,

    Good for you for facing your fears.

    Have you looked into changing clinics?

    I see what you are saying ,they should always treat folks kindly.

    Getting into a legal battle might not be the best for your condition, as it would more stress.

    We all have been to sub standard medical care,I find I just move on to a good care.

    good luck to you

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