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March 31, 1969

Methadone for Narcotics Addicts

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1969;207(13):2439. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03150260099023

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To the Editor:—  The SPECIAL COMMUNICATION, "Progress Report of Evaluation of Methadone Maintenance..." (206:2712, 1968) might better have been entitled "Progress Report for Endorsement of Methadone." The aspect of methadone hydrochloride treatment programs most in need of evaluation, ie, the goals, receives no evaluation at all. The assumption that a job, a high school diploma, and a technical skill are approriate goals in the treatment of narcotic addicts is open to question. Drug addiction is a symptom of severe emotional maladjustment. The only tenable approach to helping an addict grow up emotionally is in interpersonal approach. There are many successful examples of this, such as Gaudenzia House, Synanon, Concepts West, and Daytop Inc. To control a person with chemicals to achieve the above goals poses a serious ethical question. The authors of the SPECIAL COMMUNICATION sound as if they are content to drug hundreds of human beings purely for