Maine Lawmakers Reject Bill Zeroing State Opiate Treatment Funds

Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire
06/03/2013 –ATIN – Maine lawmakers have by a wide margin rejected an ignorant effort in a state that suffers from huge rates of opiate addiction to completely pull state funding – ie: Medicaid – of medication assisted treatments like methadone and Suboxone, with lawmakers challenging the disease model of addiction treatment.

Exercise in Irrelevancy

In an hour long floor debate that was highly emotionally charged, the bill’s sponsor said thus: “I submit to you today that this theory should be discarded,” he said. “And I would suggest that you randomly survey your constituents for their opinions and see how many of them think treating drug addiction as a disease makes any sense.” Since studies show most Americans CANNOT FIND MEXICO ON A MAP it seems obvious that consulting Maine constituents on something as complex as whether addiction is a disease is an exercise in irrelevancy and an empirical absurdity.

Ignorance and Stigma

What the Maine vote shows is that ignorance and stigma are alive and well and exist at the highest reaches of power and influence still; despite well over a half century since the introduction of the Minnesota Model of care that dominates addiction treatment throughout the nation and that has at its very core the theories laid out by the pioneering addiction specialist Dr. Silkworth that postulate addicts suffer from a disease whose chief symptom is the “phenomenon of craving.”