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How - - - I thought?,  could we thank all the people,  who made contributions to "Addiction?"   Many have spent their lives looking for the key to unlock the door to provide the answers we needed.  Much research has been done and due to the technological advances made we have discovered answers to a lot of questions being asked by the scientific community. We still haven't found a cure but, thanks, to a lot of people, we can treat addiction, successfully.  

I thought we should take the time, to recognize some of these people, whose hard work  and persistence made our lives bearable.  Many of them gave us a second chance through the discoveries they made.   I want to open it up by recognizing one such man who gave many of us a second chance at life.  If it had not been for his discoveries,many of us setting here today reading,would have gone on to meet "Our Maker."   

His name was Dr. Vincent P. Dole,  He was known as the "Father of Methadone."     The researcher and his partner, Marie Nyswander, showed that the synthetic drug methadone, created in the 1930s and used in pain treatment,could help recovering addicts without having the worst effects of heroin.



Dr. Vincent Dole and Dr. Mary Jeanne Kreek, a Clinical Investigator,who was a part of the original team and his wife, Margaret Dole on the right. (Recent Picture,2006).


A researcher at Rockefeller University, Doles retired in 1991.   He died at ninety -three years old due to complications of a ruptured aorta,  Wednesday, August 3, 2006 in a Manhattan Hospital.

A clinician at The Rockefeller University,  -  Dole studied a wide range of human biological processes.  But it was his pioneering work with methadone that earned the highest accolades.

In 1964, Dole and research partner, Marie Nyswander, experimented with shifting addicts from crippling drugs such as heroin and morphine to methadone,  - - - a synthetic drug far less damaging to the body.  At the time, methadone was known predominantly as a painkiller.  First synthesized in the 1930s, it was not widely used because it was so highly addictive.

Dole and Nyswander, however, noted that methadone did not disable its users like heroin or morphine. Methadone satisfied the physical cravings of addiction but did not make users high or subject them to violent mood swings .

Their studies showed - - -  that addicts could be put on "maintenance" doses of methadone meaning they could remain physically dependent on the drug but be able to conduct otherwise normal lives.  Those findings sparked the creation of hundreds of methadone programs worldwide.

In  Memory of Dr. Nancy
Nyswander, second wife  of Dr. Vincent Dole.  She worked with Dr. Vincent Dole and taught Him a lot about addicts. Dr. Vincent  Dole and Dr. Nyswander's
contributions transcend the life - saving clinical  impact on patients and the benefits to the community
as a whole. - -  They had prescience to hypothesize that addiction is a disease.    

  -   -   Dr. Marie E. Nyswander, a Psychiatrist with  extensive  experience  treating patients addicted to opioids.  She was convinced these individuals  could  be  treated  within general medical practice.  She also believed that many would have to be maintained on opioids for extended periods to function, why,  because a significant number of people, who attempted abstinence without medication relapsed,in spite of detoxifications, hospitalization and psycho-therapy.   - -  Dr. Nsywander joined  Dr. Dole's research staff in 1964.  Among others joining the team was  Dr. Mary Jeanne Kreek.

Dr. Marie E. Nyswander wrote "The Drug Addict As A Patient,"  which Dr. Vincent
Dole in preparation for his research.

Dr. Dole (an internist) and his late wife,  Marie Nyswander, MD  (a psychiatrist), began their collaborative research with methadone with a handful of long-term heroin - dependent individuals in 1964.  They did so in the face of covert threats of harsh criminal and civil actions by federal narcotics agents.  -  Their courageous,
pioneering work demonstrated that methadone maintenance is a medical treat-ment of unparalled effectiveness -  a superlative description that is as applicable
today as it was four decades ago.


Dr. Vincent Dole was born in Chicago in 1913 Dole earned degrees from Stanford   and Harvard Universities before joining The Rockefeller Institute For Medical Research in 1941.  During World War II, He was a Lieutenant Commander at The Naval Medical Research Unit at The Rockefeller Hospital.  Nyswander, who became Dole's second wife passed away in 1986.

Dr. Dole was also responsible in the early 1970s for convincing the New York City Department  of Corrections (at the time headed by Commissioner Ben Malcolm) that detocification of heroin-dependent inmates in the city's main detention facility at Rikers Island was imperative to save lives and lessen suffering (there had been a wave of suicides at the time had been attributed to severe opiate withdrawal).  The detoxification program continues to this day, and has beome a model for enlightened corrections officials in other countries.  

Doles's survivors include his wife, Margaret Dole; three children and four step children.

 We at Medical Assisted Treatment  
 of America want to extend a very 
 special thanks to the both of them.
 They were both sent from God above
 to deal with us, the less  fortunate
 ones. God knew it was  a Disease and
because they sought the truth about
 addiction,"Seek and Ye shall find,
 Knock and the Door shall be opened,"
 They did and it was opened for all of 
 us.  We thank both of them always.  

Compiled:  Deborah Shrira RPH, CMA                       3 August 2006

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