Custom Search

Nov 18, 2007

(USA) FOX Philadelphia News Story Stigmatizes Patients Receiving Methadone Treatment

NAMA International INPUD
National Alliance of Methadone Advocates (NAMA)
November 16, 2007

The FOX Philadelphia news story that aired on November 13, 2007 regarding the illegal sales of methadone in Camden, NJ is disappointing. Once again the news media is airing negative sensational stories about methadone and ignoring the thousands of positive ones. The vastbmajority of patients in the nation’s methadone treatment programs are not criminals. The National Alliance of Methadone Advocates (NAMA) urges you to appreciate that the great majority of patients receive their methadone from licensed accredited programs, are responsible in handling their medication, compliant with their treatment plans (including abstinence from illicit substances) and live lives that are virtually indistinguishable from your own.

Methadone has provided a bridge to sustained recovery from chronic opiate addiction for hundreds of thousands of others during its forty-year history. This bridge has allowed us to leave the instability and chaos of active addiction in the past and to seek out challenges as
professionals, business people, artists, students, family members and taxpayers. However, due to continued negative portrayal of methadone treatment in the media such as the Fox broadcast there is a tendency for the public to form distorted images of methadone patients. There are
thousands of compliant patients who are grateful for methadone treatment and eager to see it accurately reported by the media but remain silent because they have families and other responsibilities to consider. They are well aware of the stigma and prejudice that methadone patients experience daily and are afraid that the sensationalized media such as a Fox Philadelphia story could harm their family and career. The media never acknowledges the successes because it is not exciting. Consequently, the negative perception goes unchallenged and it makes it that much more difficult for those of us who benefit from methadone treatment to present the true picture.

Since its’ beginning over 40 years ago methadone maintenance has been the most effective treatment for narcotic addiction. In spite of its success, methadone maintenance is often disparaged as a "substitute drug" by those who ignore the positive benefits that it has clearly
brought to society. Such attitudes negatively impact on methadone treatment in a variety of ways, but it is the methadone patients themselves who are particularly stigmatized and harmed. Patients are mistreated and misinformed and considered as social outcasts. They are victims of discrimination in health care, the job market, education, insurance and housing. The National Alliance of Methadone Advocates (NAMA) was organized as a formal mechanism for methadone patients to voice their own needs and to form a strong, unified public presence on their behalf.

The primary objective of NAMA is to advocate for the patient in treatment by destigmatizing and empowering methadone patients. First and foremost, it can confront the negative stereotypes that impact on the self-esteem and worth of many methadone patients with a powerful affirmation of pride and unity.


Contact Persons:

Joycelyn Woods, Executive Director,

Roxanne Baker, President,

Phone/FAX: 212.595.nama


Blog Directory - Blogged