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To the Editor:—
The treatment of diacetylmorphine (heroin) addiction by methadone (193:646, 1965) does not come up to expectations generated by prior publicity in the public press and two feature articles in the New Yorker.Dole and Nyswander seem to be unaware of the tragic consequences of heroin as a cure for morphine addiction introduced at the turn of the century, and the later use of meperidine (Demerol) as a harmless narcotic. Although stated to be only a progress report, an unwarranted conclusion is made, "Maintenance of patients with methadone is no more difficult than maintaining diabetics with oral hypoglycemic agents, and in both cases the patient should be able to live a normal life." The problem of treating the methadone addiction is not mentioned.Although 22 cases are presented as evidence of success of the treatment, two had been followed less than one month and ten cases for
Vogel VH. The Treatment of Drug Addiction. JAMA. 1965;194(6):680–681. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090190102040