Florida Methadone Treatment Regulations

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    Florida Methadone Authority, Governor, and State and Federal Politicians
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For patients and petition signers to interact with each other about this PETITION, it would be helpful if you discouse this with other patients and interested parties in the Florida and the South MESSAGE BOARD http://members4.boardhost.com/FloridaMethadon . This way we can improve on our intentions. And discuss further plans. _____________________________________________________________________________
FLORIDA METHADONE PETITION
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

We,the undersigned are writing on behalf of a minority of FLORIDA constituents known as methadone patients to request your intervention. We would like THE STATE OF FLORIDA to adopt the updated Federal Methadone Treatment Regulations (CFR 42, PART 8) as written. We are methadone patients, advocates and citizens in general wish to make an impact in our STATE of FLORIDA in regard to drug treatment. Methadone patients, for too long have been neglected and exploited by those who have been entrusted to look out for patients best interests. They are ignored, stigmatized, kept in the dark and are in fear of reprisal. Methadone treatment has been the most researched treatment for drug abuse. Many findings have given rise to guidelines and medical protocols that would greatly improve the quality of treatment. Yet that research is ignored over policies and procedures that are capricious, arbitrary and unscientific. Methadone treatment works significantly well if only patients are afforded the quality of treatment that has been proven to work. We realize that there must be a stabilization period for each new patient that comes into the programs; however, all we are petitioning for is to have a life as normal as possible. Some patients are professionals, blue-collar workers, homemakers, students, etc. The point is, patients come from all walks of life and it doesnt put them into any particular category that makes patients more likely to become addicted. Methadone Maintains Treatment most become more actractive instead of an inconvience attack on patients. It is with patient's input that treatment will improve. Clinics most "lisent to your patients" as adviced by Vincent Cole MD the father of methadone treatment in the United States. The FEDERAL GOVERNMENT along with scientists and advocates has revised the FEDERAL METHADONE REGULATIONS to improve the quality of methadone treatment. Over 50 \% of the methadone providing states has adopted the new FEDERAL REGULATIONS as written, including the extended take homes. States that are allowing for the 14&30DAY take home schedule are doing so with great success thus far. It is imperative that our State of FLORIDA adopts these new regulations. The now current Florida regulations are so outdated as to burden a person trying to contribute to their community. With attendance mandatory on an almost daily basis many other activities such as a job and family become secondary. In as much as all patients are glad there is a provision for the help received, the mechanics are quite degrading to put it nicely. After all methadone patients are consumers of a service and pay on average about $310.00 per month. That is very expensive treatment and it frequently does not reflect the quality of service patients are receiving. Methadone Patients are not being treated fairly. The monopoly that the FLORIDA providers enjoy has demonstrated unilateral attitudes. The clinics make the rules as they see fit with their best interest in mind and not that of the patients. Methadone treatment saves lives in spite of poor treatment protocols. As oral methadone patients are less likely to contract HIV, hepatitis ad other communicable diseases. Research has also found that methadone patients are less likely to overdose on illegal drugs. Methadone treatment has significantly a much better recovery rate than other traditional drug treatment. Yet because of the stigma, prejudice, myths and frequent injustices about methadone as a medication and methadone patients themselves, they do not receive the credit and quality of service patients deserve. Following are several issues we would like to present for the State of FLORIDA METHADONE AUTHORITY Phil Emenheiser to consider:

1. In terms of quality we want FLORIDA to adopt the FEDERAL REGULATIONS as written as it is in the best interest of patients and scientists have studied this very carefully.

2. In terms of Quality Assurance the standards that are based on research and medical Best Practice be more related to the direct services patients should be receiving as published in the State Methadone Treatment Guidelines. No Florida Clinics or counselor in such clinics shall mandate, intimidate, coerse patients to attend 12 Step Treatment as a condition of any take home or any other conditions for methadone treatment.

3. Florida Methadone Regulations shall add a clause that NO Clinic, Staff or other Authoritative Organization (including the Methadone Authority)will NOT act in a RETALIATIVE nor HARRASSING fashion when a patient makes comments and/or makes a verbal or written complaint to the State Methadone Authorities, Federal Authorities, Licensing Boards or Certification Agencies. This clause shall be consistent with the 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, the America with Disabilities Act and with the practice of justice and professional ethics.

4. We strongly suggest that the state of FLORIDA regulate and facilitate all clinics in the state of FLORIDA to be able to include MEDICAID, MEDICARE and PRIVATE INSURANCES as a method of payment. NO patients should have to travel any long distance to find a clinic that takes this kind of payment.

5. Once a year a METHADONE COMMITTEE meets sometime around February or March to discuss treatment accessibility and other issues and we feel that methadone patients should be included equaly on the committee and be represented with equal power to vote.

6. Shall require that each Methadone Clinic operating in the state of Florida have an "ADVISORY BOARD OF PATIENTS" to advise the clinical directors or appropriate administrator as to patients concerns, grievances and policies impacting the patients.

7. At the Federal Level, The Federal Government must include the Veterans Administration Hospitals to follow the same federal regulations and guidelines that state clinics most follow.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


Sincerely,

Denise Elia, ARM-FL [email protected]

Carlos A. Franco MHS, MS Florida NAMA [email protected]

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We will accept better standards that meet scientific research and medical best practice. It is unacceptable to have policies, regulations, rules and procedures that are sabotoging, oppressive,and discriminatory, soly on the bases of a disability or being a methadone patient.


WE HAVE CHANGED THE WORDING IN THIS PETITION SO THAT IT WILL NOT IDENTIFY THE SIGNERS AS IF HE/SHE IS A METHADONE PATIENT. ANY PERSON, THAT AGREES WITH THIS PETITION, WHETHER YOU ARE A METHADONE PATIENT OR NOT CAN SIGN THIS PETITION. THAT IS FAMILY MEMBERS, FRIENDS, CLINIC STAFF AND/OR NEIGHBORS. PLEASE DO NOT IDENTIFY YOUSELF AS A PATIENT WHEN SIGNING THIS PETITION. PLEASE NOTE THAT IT IS USUAL AND CUSTOMARY PRACTICE THAT THESE TYPES OF DOCUMENTS MIGHT BECOME PUBLIC RECORD. EVERY CITIZEN AND RESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATEs OF NORTH AMERICA HAS A RIGHT AND PRIVLEDGE TO PETITION THE GOVERNMENT.

1630.12 Retaliation and coercion.

(a) Retaliation. It is unlawful to discriminate against any individual because that individual has opposed any act or practice made unlawful by this part or because that individual made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing to enforce any provision contained in this part.

(b) Coercion, interference or intimidation. It is unlawful to coerce, intimidate, threaten, harass or interfere with any individual in the exercise or enjoyment of, or because that individual aided or encouraged any other individual in the exercise of, any right granted or protected by this part.