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We welcome you to "Medical Assisted Treatment of America."   The website's  aim is to raise awareness and understanding of substance abuse, the problems it creates, and the ways to deal with these problems.  Our aim is: 

Educate the public about the disease of addiction and of the various treatments available. Help reduce the discrimination and stigma associated with patients with addiction disorders.  Serve as a conduit connecting patients to treatment providers.        
Acknowledgment as reported by The World Health               Organization, "Substance Abuse Dependence is as much
a disorder of the brain as any other neurological
psychiatric disorder.
 "          
Undeniable evidence, "Of various treatments available, methadone maintenance treatment combined with attention to medical, psychiatric, and socio-economic issues, as well as drug counseling, has the highest probability of being effective."
Information and assistance to improve the quality of services to people with a substance abuse problem and their families and
carers.  Original articles on key issues and up-coming legislation that will have an impact on substance-abusers lives .
                    
Legal news, information and assistance to substance abusers   on how to obtain their methadone and prescribed medications   should they find themselves incarcerated, as well as inform them of their rights,of being a patient, and as a prisoner, too.   


Information contained on or made available through the Site is not intended to and does not constitute medical advice, recommendations or counseling under any  circumstances and no doctor-patient relationship is formed.  We do not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to Medical Assisted Treatment of America. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk.

"The information provided on "Medical Assisted Treatment" is designed to support - not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/ site visitor and his or her physician."

We cater mainly to the present and future methadone patients, family members, friends, and other medical personnel that may need information. 

If you are interested in learning about addiction and "Opiate Agonist Treatment,"  we supply various portals through which you can educate yourself and meet others like you. Check the various means out below: 


We have a Video Library for people who prefer to watch movies. - - We understand "Different Strokes For Different Folks ."  You speak for yourself, I think even if you enjoy reading -- you will still enjoy the variety of the movies. - -  - I believe we have thirty of them on a variety of addiction-related subjects. -  - along with a selection on a variety of medications.  You don't even have to down-load to watch them - -just click on the one that interests you -- get the popcorn and cokes out, you're ready for the night!!!   (You may even learn something about yourself.)


http://methadone.forumotion.net/forum.htm

Yes, we have finally opened up our new forum.  It is only for methadone patients. If you are taking methadone either for pain and/or addiction then please we would like to have you join with us. If you attend a methadone maintenance clinic, we are really interested in you. If you have questions about methadone or if you are having problems with your methadone maintenance treatment program then it is a good place to meet others and find out how they solved some of the same pro-blems you are dealing with.  We do have Moderators available to assist you and by meeting others like yourself then you will find encouragement and you won't feel all alone.  if you think you might enjoy it, then click on the link above and join.  


There is usually some good reading there for you to comment on ---if not- - - just enjoy reading.  If there is an issue that you would like to share your viewpoint on, then by all means, we want you to come and share it with us.You are not required to leave a name. It is much better to talk about what is on your mind, especially if there is no way, you can share your viewpoint with anyone else.  

We all know we can not always share with our husband,our parents,-even our best friends how we really feel on all issues, especially if they deal with our addictions,  Methadone, Hepatitis C, Withdrawal and Medical Marijuana.  Some of us are shy, insecure, and have been told all our lives how we are failures, and asked why we couldn't be more like our brother or sister??? Right?  We are not failures and our viewpoints are important!  - - - - I want all of us to use "An Addict's View"  to start speaking out and believing in yourself. - - - Practice there and lets learn to support one another, we will never always agree with each other all the time but it doesn't mean we can't support each other even if we disagree.     

 I want all of you to start speaking out, - - - for believe me, we all share a bond in common. I know we all started out taking medication, for various reasonsmaybe because we had pain, whether it was emotional or physical, we couldn't deal with because we are sensitive people. - -- - We may not always be right but neither did we deserve the inhumane ways we have been treated by our families, friends, physicians and even our Abstinent-Oriented or Medication-Assisted Recovery Facilities.  

We all  need someone that is close enough that we can share everything with if we choose, but sometimes, it is impossible to find true friends and even though I feel like you should be able to discuss any issue with your family, in some families it is an impossibility.   - - -There are a lot of people alone out there with no families and no friends. If you happen to be one of them -then you have arrived!  We welcome you here as part of our growing family.  Start here - Sound off to the person that has hurt you, as if they were standing in front of you. If it was a situation that occurred and you felt you were treated unfairly, then share about what happened to you.You can leave your name if you would like to, but you can use make-believe names.  If what happened to you has held you in bondage all these years, believe me, it will make you sick - let go of all of it by sharing on our Forums, if not, send it to me - tell the person off that hurt you and then forgive them and let it go - - 'Revenge is mine, "saith the Lord.     

If you would like, ask for comments back on what you have written.  - - -When we spend a lot of time alone, sometimes we get paranoid,  - - - and it is difficult to see things that happen to us clearly and this is one excellent reason we need others in our lives.  - - - -We need others opinions from time to time and we especially need the empathy a friend gives when we have been hurt. It can be a starting point - - - begin to open up and share and rid yourself of all the pain, envy, and jealousy that resides within  you waiting to fester into hate.  If you find an article you would like to share - take the time to post it.  If it is important to you than it is to the rest of us.  Believe that each of us cares about what you have to say. 

I think I have shared enough with all of you --- enough to peak your interest --if you are interested in knowing what else we have -- you will just have to drop in and check us out.


F. Dean Vereen,
President/Marketing Director/Membership and Grievance Coordinator
Retired Custom Home Builder
Disabled Vietnam Veteran
Certified Methadone Advocate 

My name is Dean Vereen. I became interested in methadone
maintenance after meeting Deborah Shrira. I seen how it
changed her life for the better and I realized the power it
had to change other's lives.  I didn't know anything about it until  I met her and I knew there must be many more who needed to hear about methadone and we decided to make it
happen. I had a background in law and business and she knew about methadone and drugs and we formed a partner-ship to tell the public about methadone and how it could change their life for the better. It has brought me great joy knowing I contributed to making people's 
lives better through the use of methadone.  I am proud to be a part of this cause and I believe we all deserve a second chance. Thank You.


Deborah Diserens Shrira 
CEO/Webmaster/Editor

CMA (Certified Methadone Advocate) October 2004  NAMA

MA (Medical Assistant) Honor Graduate Medix College 12/94 Marietta, Ga 30060

CMA (Certified Medical Assistant) January 1995

CMA (Re-Certified Medical Assistant) June 2002

Pharmacy Technology (Associate Degree) Honor Graduate Fayetteville State University June 1980 Fayetteville, NC  28303

Voted Most Outstanding Student (Pharmacy) Fayetteville State University(NC) 28303

Pharmaceutical Science (Bachelor Degree) June 1983 University of North Carolina Carolina Chapel Hill, NC 26304   (Honor Graduate) 

I would like to introduce myself to you. Iam Deborah Diserens Shrira. I spent most of my life working in hospital pharmacies preparing intravenous solutions such as antibiotics, chemo-therapy,narcotic drips, and investigational drugs. The remaind-er I spent working for physicians as a Certified Medical Assist-tant.I became addicted to drugs due to an illness I had which caused me considerable pain. I struggled for years trying to stop thinking bad of myself because I didn't seem to have the willpower to stop. Then a fellow-patient shared with me about  methadone. It saved my lifeI know many of you have heard a lot of criticism concerning methadone and I am asking you to put it all behind you and check it out yourself.  There is no cure for addiction...it will always be lurking in the background and relapse is part of the disease. Methadone is a two-edged sword. It can certainly kill you if you abuse it and many people have but you can't blame the medication (it can be used as prescribed or taken illegally).  Many people have lost their loved ones because their loved ones chose to take methadone illegally or they mixed it with other medications and yes, they lost their lives. There are many people against the medication for these very reasons. Methadone is a life-saving medication but only if it is prescribed correctly and taken as it is prescribed....  It is not to be taken like Percocet, Lortabs, Vicodin or even Oxycontin.   It is much stronger than any of these -there is no comparison and there are many physicians not familiar with how to prescribe the medication. Many patients have lost their lives because they took it as it was prescribed mostly by pain management physicians and they have every right to be angry but they are wrong to take it out on the medication. Most all of HARMD's Executives lost their lives because the physicians made errors in their own prescribing of the medication. Yet, they choose to blame the medication....You do need to check out what I am saying and you will find more people have been saved from taking methadone. I tried it all and I still had pain and I can tell you it stopped my withdrawal symptoms and my pain. It will stop the agonizing cravings and yes, it will only treat the symptoms of the disease but taking it gives you a chance to live a normal life.  It is about all we can ask for at this point...How important is the quality of your life?  Quality of life is everything, otherwise you are just existing and not living. Don't let others make the decision for you simply because they lost loved ones and chose to place the blame in the wrong place...check it for yourself? It is definitely worth a try even though I realize it is not for everyone...Talk to me, I have been taking it for seventeen years and I have no liver or kidney problems. What about you?  I'm always ready to answer any questions you may have...give me a call or please do send me an e-mail. 
Deborah Shrira          

I am a methadone patient, just like many of you. I  am writing from the view -point of a patient, therefore, you can't say I don't understand how you feel. I have experienced the pain and agony of substance abuse. I failed each time I tried to stop using but it wasn't because I didn't want to stop. I couldn't until I discovered methadone.  

You can learn only so much from books, but books can't define the agony of withdrawal symptoms. If you have not walked down the road yourself and experienced it first-hand
there is absolutely no way you can possibly understand us, nor can you understand  the cravings which come like waves over- powering even our sanity. Those of you with drug abuse problems know exactly what I am talking about and can relate to it. It is all of you I am interested in reaching out to because I do understand. I am hoping you will visit me often and learn all you can about addiction and the treatments available to you. I am hoping you will learn to trust me and open up and allow me to share your pain.

I am going to share with you about my life. I urge all of you to open up and share your life with others if methadone saved your life.

I grew up and married early because my childhood sweetheart received draft orders during his Senior year of High School.  I was in my Junior year.  He went through Basic Training and afterwards knowing he was going to Vietnam -he asked me to marry him. I said, "Yes."  I went on to finish school  but I found out I was pregnant three months after we were married.  It wasn't a slip up like I am sure some of you imagined - both of us had hoped I would become pregnant before He left for Vietnam.  We both received our wish. I spent most of the first five years of our marriage alone because he spent two of the years in Vietnam.  Yes, I did have have a healthy baby boy that weighed seven and one-half pounds and he has truly been a blessing to me.  My  husband returned from Vietnam and immediately left for pilot training in Alabama. 

We were in Texas when most of my problems began with a mysterious illness no one could diagnose. I went from one physician to another and all they did was give me pain medication and send me home. The pain was getting worse with each passing day and no one could diagnose it.  It was taking more and more medication to stop the pain .The physicians began to insist it was all in my head.  Then there was one that told my husband I was a hypochrondriac and another that told him I had a substance abuse problem. My husband began to believe them and this did upset me very much.  I'm sure by now you guessed He had made the military a career.  Not me--of course. 

We received orders for Fort Bragg.  We bought a house and I started seeing more physicians. - - - -  Finally, I found one that admitted I had a problem but He could not diagnose it without doing exploratory surgery. I was willing and ready and thrilled to know that I wasn't imagining all the pain I was having.  He went in but never expected to find what he did.  His Diagnosis was Endometriosis but I was covered completely from my uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, intestines and bladder.  Most of you women are proba-bly familiar with it now but then hardly no one had been diagnosed with the disease . A simple definition of the condition is a noncancerous multiplication of cells.  They just keep multiplying and they jump from your uterus to you intestines, maybe instead of your intestines, they jump to your bladder.  They can migrate up your spinal cord and I seen one case while working at Emory that had attached to the girl's lungs. * They had no idea of what caused the disease, nor did they have a cure. 

During the following years I had multiple surgeries yet I still managed to graduate with Honors and continued to work. I worked at various pharmacies, mostly hospital because I wasn't crazy at all about working at Eckerds, though I did long enough to know I didn't like it, I worked at Fort Bragg Military Hospital, Veterans Administration, Eckerd's and Professional Drug while I was finishing college in Chapel Hill.   - - -  My Gynecologist had finally decided to do a complete hysterectomy for they had not been able to remove all of the Endometriosis from my bladder nor my intestines. ** I was still in a lot of pain and had to deal with the hot flashes from the premature hysterectomy.  I found out those were not in your head either!  They refused to give me any estrogen because they thought it would make the Endometrosis grow and multiply.  They didn't know this for sure.  It was only a hypothesis. 

My husband  had been to Officers Candidate School.  - - He was now the rank of Captain . Our life was better than it had been for a long time except for the fact I was still having pain and by now, - I had figured out I had become physically dependent on them.  I was concerned -I was tired of begging -I was tired of running out of medication and suffering the terrible withdrawal that came along with it.  - - - - I had to make some changes.. You know they say when it rains --it pours.  My husband who never ever was sick came down with the flu - - - finally after three weeks of it and he wasn't getting any better-He finally decided to see a Doctor. 

I was at work the day when I was called to the phone and heard a strange voice  on the line telling me his white blood cell count was extremely high - they thought He had Leukemia and could I bring, a few items he needed, with me to the hospital.  They had wasted no time admitting him to the hospital.  - - -  We had to wait three days because the physician sent the blood work off to be verified --this was too much for me !  Where are my pills -there was just no way I could stop now. I was scared to death. The test came back positive!  He had Leukemia. I cried for him, my son and me. I 'm not sure who I was more scared for.  I had never been on my own.  I had left my parent's and married him.  There had always been someone there for me to depend on but now--what was I going to do?      

The Oncologist started him on chemotherapy and my son was scheduled to have a bone marrow test and if it matched --they had planned to do a bone marrow trans-plant. I had calmed down some by then -- I didn't feel as if He was going to die on me but little did I know---He hadn't been on the chemotherapy but a few days when His body could not handle it and his organs shut down and He was gone.  He died within the first thirty days after He was diagnosed.  I had not expected it at all.  - -  I stayed on in North Carolina for two years after he died. It was one of the roughest times of my life.  I sought help for my addiction and pain in an " Abstinence-Free ---Rehabilitation Center but three months later I had started back using.   Finally, I made the decision to move back to Atlanta where my family was available to help me.

I had no trouble finding work in Atlanta-- I immediately started working at Emory University Hospital Pharmacy.  - - I enjoyed working there very much -there was much more to learn there than at the other ones I had previously worked at.  I began to believe the move was just what " The Doctor Had Ordered.".  - - Work became very stressful at Emory --- by this time, I had graduated to taking Dilaudid®.  - I still had Endometriosis.   All of it had not been removed and after twelve years of working at Emory I developed allergies to the intravenous medications I was compounding.  - I had been through two sinus surgeries, due to the allergies, - -  -and my ENT Doctor was saying, "They had to transfer me out from under the hood, otherwise I needed to find another position."  I had to leave, but before I did, I used up my acquired leave and checked into Charter Peach-ford- if you live in Atlanta, then I am sure you have heard of it.  My insurance must have paid out over thirty -thousand dollars for two weeks --(for what?). I am not sure.  It wasn't even two weeks before I was using again. I could have taken a superb vacation with the amount and it would have been put to better use. - - - Please, don't take my statement wrong -- I am not totally against Abstinent-Free Treatment -- if it helped you -then I think that is great!!! I am great believer in different strokes for different folks. 

I took some time off -fell in love again-remarried and went back to college. - - -  I graduated as a Certified Medical Assistant and went to work for a physician in an Internal Medicine Office.  I liked it much better  for I had more patient contact.  I was still using and was beginning to hate myself.  - - My parents and son were aware of my problem and I was afraid each day my husband was going to find out and leave me.  I lived on Peachtree-Road in Buckhead and felt like I had it all -  but I was miserable as Hell because I couldn't stopThen my bubble burst again when found out my husband was seeing other women and had only married me because His Visa had run out. He wanted to remain in the United States. 

I went to pieces ----- I broke into a million pieces and ended up back in Charter-Peachford.  I knew then if God didn't provide a miracle for me -I was a goner---I could not keep living like this. -  - You may disagree with me but he did send an angel, in the form of a patient, who told me about methadone.  - - - - I checked out and  started on methadone the next day.  It changed me and my life forever and why methadone had not been shared with me before, as an alternative method - I don't understand. 

I spent years researching methadone once I started taking it and discovered people really don't understand much about it.  There still is so much discrimination - - - - - -against methadone. - - - I set my rudder against the tide to share the truth with all I can about methadone - to offer them the value of my experience and my knowledge, be what it is of medications.but mostly to be there for them. *****  This is the reason our door is always open twenty-four hours a day -- for I don't want to miss their crys for help. I want to be there for them - and help in any way I can. I am available on a one-to-one basis if privacy is needed.  Contact Me: changeyourlife@MedicalAssistedTreatment.org

We are here to educate you and empower you as a person. We feel by providing education about addiction and the treatment available to you- we can help you.
We realize you cannot accomplish it alone, therefore, we provide people to help you.  We are available by phone at all hours if it is an emergency and if you just 
need someone to listen to you. You are never alone.  We will assist you in locating
treatment and we are here to answer any questions and clear up any myths. If you are a patient and need information as to what your rights are then we have the answers ready for you as well as any options you have.

Inform you of your "Rights as a Patient" and to "Assist You" if you feel they have been violated."

Provide a "Support System" for you.  We are open twenty-four hours every day of the year to include holidays "Just For You" because you are important to us.   

It is important to us that you receive Knowledge, along with  "Medication Assisted Treatment."   - It is important that you receive nurturing and love from the people  around you, to give you the confidence you need, to be able to stand up for you and help give support to others like you.  - - - -  We live in a cruel world and are discriminated against more than any other people.   We must find a way to stand together as one otherwise we will go down one by one. We need to bond with one another, support one another  AND NEVER LEAVE ONE OF OURS BEHIND TO SUFFER but do all we can to help them even if it must come out of our need. 



We are starting a new part called "IN MEMORY OF" of the pioneers that started "Methadone Maintenance Treatment." - - I am sure most of you are familiar with them already, but we believe they deserve special recognition always.  - -They will never know how many lives they saved and I am one that just cannot let it go. Two weeks ago, Dr. Mary Jeanne Kreek sent us some great pictures of her-self, Dr. Vincent  Dole and Dr. Marie Nyswander. When we received them, all we could think of was creating a section of our website to honor them for all their works. 

 


They are not the only ones I want to honor.  I want to honor all those who have died from using drugs, especially those who died while they were incarcerated, because they were denied their medications, especially their prescribed ones.  Deliberate denial of medical care and treatment.  - - We are not stopping here,  we want to honor all those who died from addiction, for whatever reason.  I'm asking, all of you, please, if you lost  someone special in your life to drugs that you would like for us to remember, all we ask is send us a picture of the person,(it is optional), with their name and what they meant to you. We would like for you to share some facts about the person's life, (where and how it happened, age, and exactly what did happen)  Did they leave any loved ones behind like children and significant others.  If you think there was anything that could have prevented it?   We will be more than happy to include them in our "In Memory Of."

We can always be reached at: ChangeYourLife@MedicalAssistedTreatment.org

 Phone:  770.428.0871    Facsimile: 770-428-5791      Cellular:  770-527-9119  

Editor:  Deborah Shrira                            Dated:  December 2010 

Dee Black                                                  Updated: June 2012

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