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  " The Director's View"      May 2010

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." Plutarch 

My name is Deborah Shrira. I am the CEO of Medical Assisted Treatment of America, Inc.  Yes, for all of those who don't know me, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce myself to you and welcome you to our website.  It has been months since I have updated  "The Director's View."  I felt I owed it to all my faithful visitors to let you know what is happening.  I have been working very diligently on constructing a new updated methadone web site.

I think most all of you who really know me and have corresponded with me know I do care about each and everyone of you.  I started Medical Assisted Treatment of America, Inc. in 2004. It hasn't been easy to keep it going but we have managed even when money was extremely low and even when problems with some of our employees almost destroyed us. We continued on to open another to provide you information and edcuate you about Suboxone.  If you haven't visited it then I suggest you check it out at http://www.SuboxoneAssistedTreatment.org.

What can I say we have been very blessed to be able to keep them going and to offer you a 24-Hour Support Telephone Line. You can call us at any hour, 24 hours a day as most all of you are aware, and if you don't have the money to call, then all we ask is to send us an e-mail with your name and telephone number and the best time to call and we will call at our expense. How many other websites offer this feature to their visitors?  Our new number is: 770-334-3655 (Office) and if we can't be reached, try calling us at our cellular number 770-527-9119. 

If you just can't afford to call but feel you really need someone to speak with, if you have questions you need answers to and need them quickly, then please send us an e-mail to questions@medicalassistedtreatment.org. If you prefer to speak person to person to one of us, then please do not forget to include your number and name with the best time to call you.   I want to remind all of you, you are not alone and do not have to go through this by yourself unless you choose to.  It is difficult enough even with support therefore, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for help. Maybe I am being redundant with the information I am giving you because it has been posted in several locations but I just want to remind all of you again...we are here for you and all you share with us is kept confidential.   

I would like to share with you what has been happening in my life during the last year. If you are not interested, then read it any way... If you feel like you are going under, I am begging you to hold on because if I made it ...I know you can.  I met with many difficulties trying to obtain what I wanted out of life but I never quit. I did stop for awhile and feel sorry for myself and you can do this but,  please do continue on. You must be persistent about it and above all you need friends and support and even financial help at times. I know you can make it. I want to hear from any of you if you would like to write me because I care about what you are dealing with and I will stop and make time for you.       

It was in November 2008 when I was having many difficulties with the Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program I attended.  I am sure some of you are aware of what all happened to me and it was one of the toughest periods of my life. I have spoke to some of you about what transpired and I have posted about it on: http://methadone.forumotion.net.  If you have not joined yet, I urge all of you to join. It wasn't opened unil March 2009 and when I had to shut my old ones down, I thought my all world had ended and I was really hurt because I felt I should have been a better judge of character. I can tell you now, it all worked together for my good but it isn't easy when it is all happening to you to trust it is for the best.   

I basically had to start all over. It wasn't easy for me to even trust anyone after I had been hurt by the ones I had trusted and given them a chance and they turned on me.  I really wanted to give up but I couldn't because I had invested too much time in my work to let them destroy me. I don't think I could have done it without the support of my friends and the two people who had agreed to come aboard and help me get started again.  They were there for me not only as employees, but as friends, and we did get started and have more members then ever.

Yes, I did endure many tribulations because none of us are promised......  a rose garden. I am telling you when you forget about yourself and start helping others, eventually good things start happening.It is true..what goes around comes around. You reap what you sow. Let's try and start helping one another because we are all going to need support and friends to count on to survive the coming years. Many people are without jobs now and many can barely afford to feed their children. I believe we all know just how cruel the world can be on the outside. We receive many calls each day from people wanting help for substance abuse AND HAVE NO MONEY. It literally breaks my heart because I don't have answers for all of them.

I know what it is like to want help and there is none.  We all need another to offer a helping hand from time to time. I know what it is like to wait on my Disability for three long years after I applied because Atlanta don't have enough judges to hear all the cases. I know what it is like to live from paycheck to paycheck. Most of all I understand how it feels to be discriminated against because you have problems with drug dependence. I know what it is like to be persecuted when you finally discover methadone and it works for you. You wonder why no one ever shared with you about it. How many years did you lose when you could have been taking methadone?  I know what it is like to hurt and no one wants to give you any pain medication because they don't believe you need it.   

Yes, I do understand all about the opiate treatment programs. I know many of you are suffering because of the way you are treated. I have been there and done that. I do understand and it is why I stopped working and opened up Medical Assisted Treatment of America, Inc.  I seen a need to educate you about methadone and I wanted to provide you with the information you needed about methadone.  I knew many of us were not being educated about the medication nor concerning our rights.  I knew first I had to educate you for without knowledge you can't stand up against your enemy. Knowledge is Power!  It is what I set out to do and I am still working because now we still need to educate the public about methadone but we need to join together to stand up for our rights.  I am begging all of you to please join with me and let's take a stand for what is right? 

We can still win but we must continue to educate those starting out on methadone and most of all we need to take stand if our rights are being trampled on.  I know many of you work and have children but if we want to win and see our dreams materialize, then we must come together and help each other . Can't any of you see what I am talking about?You have absolutely no idea of how many complaints I receive every day from patients not able to obtain an increase in their dose and how many are discharged for no valid reason? How much do you know about drug testing? Do you know what to do if it comes back positive and you know you haven't used? Do you know they can discharge if you owe them any money?

If we don't begin to stand up for ourselves, no one else is going to.   Our first priority if to educate ourselves. I am here to provide the information to assist you in these areas. We are here to give you support by offering friendship over the phones and in our forums.  I know many of you are just about ready to give up ...for many various reasons and I  believe we can help one another out if  we will just devote some of our time. You can start by first educating yourself and if you need help and are not computer savvy, just give us a call for we can help you there, too. If you have no money to call, remember send me an e-mail with your phone number and the best time to call and I will call you.   

I want you to "Believe In Yourself."  I want you to "Believe In Your Dreams."  I know I have been busy and I haven't been available as much as I was before but I want you to know I am back and I will do all I can to make sure we do what we can for you. I thought at the beginning of the year we might not receive the funds we needed to stay open but we did and I will be more than able to finish the updated methadone website I am now working on.It was a miracle we received the finances to continue on.  

I did finally receive my Disability September 2009.  It took a miracle for once the Judge approved it, I did receive all my back pay without any hesitation on their part. It doesn't happen to everyone as it did with me but I felt I waited long enough but the point is, the timing was perfect.  House prices had dropped and the interest rates and we were able to obtain a house without any problem. We needed a larger place because of the work and now, I have a nice office and a bedroom.  It took a miracle because I never dreamed we would be able to buy a house but I didn't receive one when I wanted it and if God had granted my dreams then the price would have been much higher and we would not have received the Tax Credit of $7,000 dollars which helped us buy office equipment.

We did have some trouble obtaining the Tax Credit but we finally did receive it and it took remaining persistent.  We had sent eveything they had asked but we sent it again and I did some checking up and they assigned us an Advocate to assist us. My partner called every day to check up on it and I can say He was very civil with her because we understood she wasn't to blame. We did finally obtain it and if any of you are waiting on one and haven't received it...please feel free to call me and we will be glad to assist you.  I want to offer any of you help if you are trying to obtain Disability and don't know where to start nor what to do and you have any questions concerning it, I will be glad to share with you any knowledge I obtained.    

We moved in October 2009 but we still haven't quite settled in as I would like .   It was very difficult moving and trying to keep everything going. We do host a radio program once monthly and we had calls coming in twenty fours a day. It took us two months to move (ha!) but my partner moved our yard, too. I am not joking for He had planted most all of the trees and we had put a lot of work into it therefore we brought it and planted it in the yard. If you can believe it, almost all of it is still alive.   

Then it was in March I fell and broke my clavicle in two places and I was put on bedrest for awhile. I have just now returned back to working a few hours every day and I have really missed all of you and can't wait to finish building the new up-dated methadone website I am working on.  I really expected to have it almost finished but then I had to fall and break my clavicle and I did get behind.  I am still expecting to have it finished by the end of September if all goes right. I am sure if you visit regularly then you know we had some problems with this website a few months back and it took them awhile to get it all corrected but I think they have it running smoothly now. I do want to apologize for the inconvenience if you did visit and found you couldn't post.

Most of you do know I found a new Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program. I have been there one year now and I can say they do treat me right and I love it.  I am hoping most of you have located one just as great as the one I am attending for we all deserve to be treated with respect. It is why I ask all of you to share about yours because people from every state visit and read the posts and if you have posted about the one you attend then you are giving them valuable information. We need to share the information we have with each other  and in doing this we can help define which ones are good and which ones we should leave alone. How about helping one another out? Is it asking too much?   

Thanks to all of you. I want to thank all of you who took the time 
 to share with us about your Opiate Treatment Program. I would 
 like to hear from all of you.
 

I would like to include some stories on the new methadone website I am building about how methadone changed your life. We need all the ones I can obtain for they inspire people to make a start or continue on if they have relapsed.  If you can possibly send me a picture of you and your name it would be much appreciated. I do prefer ones where you can speak out and give your name but if you would prefer to remain anonymous, then I will accept them, too.   I will try and provide you with updates next month but we do post updates on methadone on our forum and I would like for all you to join with us and even if you don't have time to post you can read what all is happening with methadone.

Thanks for making our website successful.  I am just sorry it has taken me so long to update it and provide you more information. I always hate it when someone changes their website especially after I am used to finding my way around and know where all the information is....and I promise I will keep it in mind when working on this one and make it as easy as possible for you. The new one will have many features this one is lacking.  I think you are going to love it and I am asking you to please send me your stories. We want to let the public know  .... methadone works and it saved us.

Until June,   

Deborah Shrira,CEO
deborahshrira@comcast.net
questions@medicalassistedtreatment.org
Phone:  770-334-3655
Cellular:  770-
527-9119 Facsimile: 770-334-3704

Deborah Shrira, Editor                                              Date:    May 3, 2010   

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