Venipuncture. More commonly known as blood work, or the process of drawing blood (generally for laboratory testing) is a commonly performed procedure today. However, it is often an absolute nightmare for many current and former IV drug users. Years of intravenous drug use can take its toll on a patients veins, often making it very difficult for healthcare professionals to easily identify a useable vein and successfully draw blood, especially on the first poke. But what if healthcare professionals were able view realtime digital imaging of a patients vasculature, detailed enough to identify flow, bifurcations and valves in a non-invasive way? A new piece of technology known as "VeinViewer" now makes it possible.
Agios Stefanos Prison in Patras, Greece is the proud new home of the country's very first 'prison' methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) program, where inmates struggling with addiction can now be provided with proper treatment, medical care and compassion they so desperately require to treat their addictions while incarcerated.
The 1st of September has finally come and gone, and here in Ontario it marked the arrival of a new formulation of Methadone by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals know as 'Methadose'. There has been plenty of discussion regarding the switch and it's negative impacts in B.C.; some vehemently opposed to the change, others standing firmly behind the position that there is absolutely no difference between the two formulations. However I no longer have to go by second hand accounts, as I have now officially made the Methadone to Methadose switch myself.
Changes Are Afoot
When I began hearing about the changes to the Methadone formulation in B.C. as well as the problems being raised by patients, my reaction was mixed. My first thoughts were those of empathy, discontent and relief. I truly felt for those patients in B.C. who were not adjusting well to the switch, and experiencing painful withdrawals. I was very unimpressed with the Province for making changes that are putting peoples hard earned recovery and sobriety at risk. However if I'm being honest, I was also completely and utterly relieved that there was no mention of Ontario in this switcharoo.
Just a few short months later while at the pharmacy for our daily dose of Methadone, Mr. L mentions he overheard discussion about something called 'Methadose' and changes to Methadone, and asked me if I had heard anything of it. As soon as the word 'Metha-DOSE' left his lips, my heart sunk. Fuck. I shook it off, and hoped to hell what he had just overheard did not pertain to us. I was just itching to hop on my bike and get myself home so I could dig into the treasure trove of information that is Google - searching for anything and everything remotely related to Ontario and Methadose.
The search results revealed exactly what I didn't want to see. The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care had indeed made the decision to change from the current formulation of Methadone to Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals 'Methadose' as of September 1st, 2014.
By K. Lanktree
- Freelance Writer -
- Blog Mistress -
- Former IV Drug User -
- Methadone Patient -
- Lover of all things Harm Reduction -
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