I had lunch today with a very smart and successful person that asked about my volunteer work at the “meth clinic”. As an advocate for medically assisted recovery, I was facing double trouble; he was obviously confused and really didn’t know much about it, but that hadn’t stopped him from having a low opinion of such establishments.
It’s a common misconception for the general public to confuse methadone with methamphetamines, but when people abbreviate the words down to “meth” even I get confused. I give credit where it’s due though, once this individual was made aware of the differences between the two and the benefits of medically assisted recovery he did express his support.
Just for the record, methamphetamines are a class of drugs that can be used as an illicit stimulant. Often referred to in the past as crank and speed, the modern scourge is the crystallized version known as “meth”. Methadone on the other hand is a synthetic opioid used as a painkiller and in medically assisted recovery programs. Yes- it technically can be considered trading one drug for another, but a proper maintenance program will include a pathway to total recovery and complete abstinence from all drugs and alcohol.
So the next time you hear someone speak about the “meth clinic” down the street, ask them if they mean a methadone maintenance treatment center and explain the difference. In medically assisted recovery, there is no meth around.