Indiana officials and methadone clinic operators defended the clinics’ practice of giving drug addicts take-home doses of methadone, reports the Associated Press. They told a legislative panel the doses help patients re-establish normal lives. Legislators complain about the clinics’ distribution of the take-home doses, saying they draw addicts to the state. State officials did not recommend that the panel push for further restrictions on the synthetic opiate, though they did seek tougher guidelines for clinics.
Lawmakers say take-home doses of the drug used to ease withdrawal pain for users of heroin, morphine, OxyContin, and other opiates contribute to the number of Kentucky addicts who come to Indiana clinics. Cinic regulators and operators said there are reasons other than the long-term doses for why out-of-state addicts flock to Indiana clinics. “There are two- or three-year waiting lists” for treatment in Kentucky and Ohio, said Joe Pritchard of CRC Health Group. LaPorte County Coroner Vidya Kora said the northern Indiana county has had nine overdose deaths this year in which methadone was a contributing factor and that the drug came from a clinic in five of those cases. Kora said the take-home doses give patients and the clinics little incentive to wean addicts off methadone.