m is for methadone
by Preston Peet (ptpeet@...
) - February 07, 2001
Temperature's rising, fever is high, can't see no future, can't see no sky.
My feet are so heavy, so is my head. I wish I was a baby. I wish I was dead.
Cold turkey has got me on the run. Body is aching, goose-pimple bone. Can't
see nobody. Leave me alone. My eyes are wide open, I can't get to sleep.
One thing I'm sure of, I'm in at the deep freeze.
Cold Turkey has got me on the run. 36 hours rolling in pain, praying to
someone, free me again. Oh, I'll be a good boy, so please make me well. I'll
promise you anything, get me out of this hell!
Cold turkey has got me, oh, oh, oh, Cold turkey has got me on the run.
~ ~Cold Turkey, John Lennon/Yoko Ono (October 20, 1969)
Methadone (meth'e don')-n.[< it's chemical name] a synthetic drug, less
habit-forming than morphine, used in treating morphine addicts.
~ ~ Webster's New World Compact School and Office Dictionary, 1982 [revised
This is pure unadulterated bullshit. Ask any methadone patient which drug is
easier to kick - Heroin or Methadone - and they will tell you, quite rightly,
that Methadone is the more hellish "drug" of the two.
While Methadone has no discernible high, and affects the body for longer
(keeping withdrawals at bay for longer than heroin), once a person is feeling
the lack of Methadone, the difference is clear. Detoxing from Methadone takes
more time, a month or more at minimum, as compared to the week or two maximum
Patients in Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) must take their medication
every single day, or they get sick. Clearly, Methadone is habit-forming,
although admittedly in every case, heroin habits are already formed, or a
person cannot (or will not) be placed into MMT. So, 'less habit-forming' is
semantic in the above definition, and blatantly untrue.
In 1939 two scientists working for I.G. Farben, Otto Eisleb, and O.
Schaumann, at Hoechst-Am-Main, Germany, discovered an opioid analgesic which
after numbering compound 8909, they named Dolantin (Pethidine). Hopes that it
would be a new, non-addictive pain reliever, to take the place of Morphine,
just like Diamorphine (heroin), before it, came to naught. However, because
it was an extremely effective analgesic, the Germans used the drug
extensively throughout War World II.
(Unless otherwise noted, facts are taken from The Methadone Briefing, edited
by Andrew Preston, London: Waterbridge House, 1996).
From 1937 through the Spring and Summer of 1938, two other scientists working
for I.G. Farben, Max Bockmuhl, and Gustav Ehrart, were working with similar
compounds to Dolantin. Bockmuhl and Ehrart were searching for drugs with
certain characteristics, such as "water soluble hypnotics (sleep inducing)
substances, effective drugs to slow the gastrointestinal tract to make
surgery easier, effective analgesics that were structurally dissimilar to
Morphine-in the hopes that they would be non-addictive, and escape the strict
controls on opiates."
On September 11, 1941, Bockmuhl and Ehrhart filed a patent application for,
and were formally credited with, the discovery of Hoechst 10820 (Polamidon),
which eventually became known as Methadone.
In the Autumn of 1942, I.G. Farben handed over the drug, codenamed "Amidon",
to the German military for further testing.
The Nazis did not make any attempt to mass produce the drug, unlike
Pethidine, which by 1944 was being produced at an annual rate of 1600 kg. One
reason for this was given by Dr. K K Chen, an early American researcher,
after the war. He said that a former employee of the I. G. Farben factory had
written him, saying that the Germans had discontinued Polamidon use due to
its side effects. Chen decided that the Nazis had been giving their test
subject doses that were too high, causing nausea, overdose, etc.
After the war ended, the Allies divided up the spoils. I. G. Farben was in an
US-occupied zone so all its "intellectual capital" (patent, trade names, and
the like) came under US management. Along with the formula for Zyklon B, a
nerve gas that the Nazis used in some of their extermination programs,
Methadone was now an American possession.
One very common misconception is that Dolophine, one of the very first trade
names given to the drug, was derived from "Adolph", in honor of the dictator
himself by the Nazis, and that in Germany it was called "Adolophine." The
fact of the matter seems to be this name was not given the drug until after
the war, by the Eli-Lilly pharmaceutical company in America, which was given
control of the drug.
If there was any honoring of Hitler going on, it was by the Americans who
invented this urban legend. Dolophine most likely derives from the French
words "dolor" (pain), and "fin" (end).
Eli-Lilly, along with other companies in the US and Great Britain, began
clinical trials of Dolophine, marketing the drug as a pain killer and cough
suppressant. In 1947, Isabel et al, published their findings after
experimenting on both animals and humans. After giving doses of up to 200mg.,
four times a day, they found that there was rapid tolerance, and euphoria.
They also discovered that there were a bevy of adverse side effects, such as,
"signs of toxicity . . . inflammation of the skin . . . deep narcosis and . .
. a general clinical appearance of illness." Once again, just like the Nazis,
the scientists were giving doses that were far too high.
Morphine addicts responded well to Dolophine, but authorities decided that it
was potentially highly addictive. As reports of Dolophine addicts started
coming in, thedrug was taken of the market, only to resurface in the 1960s,
now known as Methadone.
Promoted by Drs. Marie Nyswynder, and Vincent Dole in the mid-1960s as the
most promising method of treating heroin addiction, MMT began to receive more
attention from the medical community, and gradually limited tests were begun
to gauge MMT's efficacy in treating hardcore heroin addicts. Reading through
the National Institute of Health's Consensus Development Statement, entitled
"Effective Medical Treatment Of Opiate Addiction," not much, it seems, has
changed. US scientists and doctors still have a lack of compassion for their
"test subjects" that echoes the Nazi doctors. In the Diagnosis of Opioid
Addiction section, the report states that if an addict has failed after all
tests to convince the doctor he/she is really a heroin addict, the doctor can
obtain further evidence by administering a "Naloxone (Narcan) challenge test
to induce withdrawal symptoms." This instantly induces withdrawals, and is
what paramedics give overdose victims when trying to resuscitate them dead on
the sidewalk. I’ve seen it given to a friend, and he was definitely not happy
when jerking awake, sick as a dog. It is sadistic torture giving Naloxone to
someone simply, to prove that they're are an addict.
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