Teen Birth Rate Part II

The other day I posted some thoughts on a recent article about the teen birth rate in Southbridge. Although my thoughts are still not clear on all of this I think we need to do something and the question is what?

Without pointing fingers, because as I mentioned in my recent post, pointing fingers does nothing but get people all excited for no reason. We need to find answers and solutions. It is time we roll our sleeves up and try and find the reason this is happening and then try and find a solution. This issue is far too important for us to just ring our hands and walk away from.

Parents are the first line educators of our children. Sex education belongs at home not in the classroom. Why would you want someone else teaching your kids one of the most important lessons of life. Teachers have more than enough to do with Big Brother making them teach to a test so let’s not burden then with any thing more.

So I am suggesting the following. A meeting, a summit meeting if you will, let us get together educators, parents, clergy, and maybe the politicians, and put our heads together and come up with some kind of a plan. We spend a lot of time trying to make life better in Southbridge. We are against the land fill, we are against the methadone clinic, and we are against babies having babies. So let’s do something about it. Maybe there is nothing we can do, but we have to try.

So leave me some comments, even if you are not from Southbridge, and let me know if this is a good idea and I will get the ball rolling.


  1. one of the problems is that if you are not a citizen of the united states when your child is born in this country that child becomes a citizen and that childs’ parents are entitled to things that not having a child would entitle them to.linda

  2. I noticed your writings from a Google alert that is targeted for Methadone. After opening your writings I realized is was in regards to teen births, an issue of great concern.
    We have an epidemic in this country of the use, abuse and deaths from prescription drugs. Over two years ago my son died after a doctor prescribed him methadone for pain. He took it as he was told and it still took his life. Since then I have built an organization to address just how deadly this drug is and the thousands that are dying yearly. Sadly, our government and huge drug companies have chosen to ignore this poison as it is a multi billion dollar commodity. ALthough my research began with the use of pain management I was led to the path of clinical use, my findings have been alarming. I would enjoy speaking to about any thoughts you may have or advice. Please contact me at: ngarvin@mothersagainstmedicalabuse.org
    My website is:

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Nancy Garvin (Founder)
    Mothers Against Medical Abuse. Org

  3. Good morning Father.

    Being against a methadone clinic but not against an AA or NA meeting seems odd to me. They all help people with the disease of addiction. The people who attend these abstainance meetings closely resaemble the people who chose medically assisted treatment (MAT). They are people with families, jobs, and hope. Some may even attend church.

    I realize that many wonderful people are misinformed about how methadone is very different from other opiates and why it works so well for so many.

    A bit of research might help you become an advocate.

    Abstinence meetings really do help a lot of addicts in recovery. It is wonderful when they have a nearby clinic to refer an opiate addict for medically assisted treatment because sometimes the abstinence program is just not going to work for that struggling opiate addict. They know that this is a chronic relapsing disease and often, a person needs the help of a proven medication for either taper or for maintenance. Someone there might suggest it and save a life and a family.

    I think how amazing that there are persons in 12 step recovery with great faith in their abstinence program who will wonderfully suggest that a suffering opiate addict may need Medical Assisted Treatment. Because of their rules, 12 Step groups do not take a public stance pro or con for a clinic. Their focus is on addiction just like a clinic’s focus. I like to think that there are some members who know that a good clinic nearby can save lives and give a normal life back to a person who chooses to use the Medically Assisted Treatment route.

    I remember many years ago when I was told by an abstinence program member that he had sent a suffering opiate addict to a clinic because that was what he needed. What a wonderful thing to do. I like to think that his deed now has others who are quietly doing the same as he did so many years ago.

    A clinic is another effective tool in the fight against the disease of opiate addiction.

    Welcome a methadone clinic into your community. Give a lot more people a good chance at recovery through MAT.

    My best to you in this matter.

    George Clarke
    I have never been addicted to opiates and I have never been a methadone patient.

  4. This was written because of the HARM’D strong focus on methadone clinics and methadone deaths.

    It is about addiction deaths and responsibility and it takes a different tack that is quite strong. I do like to back up my statements with source information.

    It is sad to think that the simple words:

    "Take this medication only as prescribed and keep it safe." are not always heeded by either side of a drug transaction outside of a doctor’s office or clinic.

    It comes down tragically to that point of sale and the drugs' subsequent use that is outside of the intended prescription, be it ignored or with full knowledge of the potential consequence. Yes, the emphasis is being placed on the medication, the clinics and the pain doctors and not on the tragic addict.

    Why that transaction should reflect on the patients who take their medication as prescribed and keep it safe, or on the Clinic doctors and the pain MD's who prescribe the medication properly is beyond me. Just as I believe that the disease of addiction is framed by an all too much ignored innocence – Just as innocent as the dance of greed or the gift of a friend to an addict is ignored. It is very sad when someone takes a medication that is not their own prescription. Oddly, this is a behavior that can be treated by methadone when taken as prescribed. If the methadone was not there it could be an overdose by Oxycontin, or Heroin or any number of opiates.
    The son or daughter who decided to take a pill she or he knows nothing about and dies sets off a terrible swift sword against clinics. The sword of needing someone to blame.
    The drug is benign until it is taken. It did not fly into the mouth or the blood stream. The addict has a disease which is ignored when the loss is so tragic. The clinic pops up as the scapegoat.

    The reflections of such actions towards the methadone medical community – including the pain doctors, maintenance doctors, and their patients – has been taking it's measure as though, somehow, the doctors, the medication and the patients are responsible for the actions of a dealer and an addict. Should it fall on them all? Should it fall on anyone? Are the laws correct in their applications? Who holds the responsibility of someone becoming an addict?
    It is my understanding that most of the death problems are coming from the pain patients as a result of methadone becoming the pain medication of choice over the last few years, largely due to cost. Yet, as usual, clinics get the thrust of the situation and are the unfair target of opportunity for the people who have lost a loved one.
    “Most methadone deaths are the result of methadone diverted from hospitals, pharmacies, practitioners, pain management physicians and, to a much lesser extent, NTPs and used in combination with other drugs and/or alcohol.”
    Source: http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs25/25930/index.htm#Introduction

    Some of us are now more tragically aware than before of those who sell & misuse medications and who are not following the intended prescription at all.

    Now, all we have to do is figure out how to help the addict and the dealer or the gifting friend.

    Well, that is where methadone comes in.
    Take this medication only as prescribed and keep it safe.

    PART 2
    Now we come to a very sad part of this… Before I start, I wish to say that I honor what everyone is going through when a family member or friend is lost to drugs and/or alcohol. This disease of addiction is very powerful. This is about what we call “The Cocktail.”
    Death by methadone or death by valium, alcohol and methadone – etc.?
    Interactions with Alcohol and Drugs of Abuse
    Methadone may be expected to have additive effects when used in conjunction with alcohol, other opioids, or illicit drugs that cause central nervous system depression. Deaths associated with illicit use of methadone frequently have involved concomitant benzodiazepine abuse.
    Source or above: http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?id=4369
    The combined effects of benzodiazepines and alcohol or other CNS depressants (drugs that slow the central nervous system) can be very dangerous, leading to unconsciousness or, rarely, even death. Anyone taking benzodiazepines should not drink alcohol and should check with his or her physician before using any CNS depressants. Taking an overdose of benzodiazepines can also cause unconsciousness and possibly death. Anyone who shows signs of an overdose or of the effects of combining benzodiazepines with alcohol or other drugs should get immediate emergency help. Warning signs include slurred speech or confusion, severe drowsiness, staggering, and profound weakness.
    Source above: http://www.faqs.org/health/topics/37/Benzodiazepines.html
    It would seem to me that the saddest part of this is the fact that addicts choose to mix other drugs and alcohol with methadone.
    When a parent tragically loses a loved one, the other drugs present in the mix may not be mentioned because of the focus against methadone. Methadone is like a magnet for the parent. This is expected by advocates like me because the Stigma against addicts and methadone clinics is very strong.
    Do you think in fairness that a parent or loved one should include the other drugs that were found in the system besides methadone? Did you know they can kill without the methadone? Do you wonder why methadone is singled out so heavily when it was a “cocktail” of drugs that caused a death. Will you question why methadone is singled out while these other drugs are not?
    Drink too much alcohol and…
    “How can alcohol be blamed for 100,000 deaths each year?
    • 5% of all deaths from diseases of the circulatory system are attributed to alcohol.
    • 15% of all deaths from diseases of the respiratory system are attributed to alcohol.
    • 30% of all deaths from accidents caused by fire and flames are attributed to alcohol.
    • 30% of all accidental drownings are attributed to alcohol.
    • 30% of all suicides are attributed to alcohol.
    • 40% of all deaths due to accidental falls are attributed to alcohol.
    • 45% of all deaths in automobile accidents are attributed to alcohol.
    • 60% of all homicides are attributed to alcohol.

    (Sources: NIDA Report, the Scientific American and Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario.) Also see Alcohol Consumption and Mortality, Alcohol poisoning deaths, CDC report,
    100,000 deaths. That's more than a statistic. That is 100,000 individuals with faces. 100,000 individuals with lives not fully lived. 100,000 individuals grieved by mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and children. Every year.”
    Source above: http://www.come-over.to/FAS/alcdeath.htm
    Note, they did not even mention liver failure.
    Should we also answer the questions below?
    1) Did you ever warn your child or relative not to take drugs and alcohol?
    2) Are you an example of what not to do? (drink or use other drugs)
    3) Did the local education system warn against using drugs and alcohol?
    4) Did you know he or she was using drugs or alcohol?
    5) Did you know that alcohol alone (and other drugs) can cause a loss of inhibitions which can lead to unintended consequences of many kinds including death?
    6) Did your relative or child know the danger of taking unprescribed drugs?
    7) Did they take the drugs anyway in spite of everything that said:

    I believe nobody here is responsible for the actions of any addict. Not the parents, Not the doctor, Not the dealer, Not a clinic, Not a Buprenorphine authorized MD, and Not even the opiate addict who has a very treatable disease. The disease is the problem. Treatment is available. Trying to limit the access for this treatment is counterproductive when in truth; it is the addict’s disease that ignores all the warnings. Illegal and non prescribed drugs are available even with the efforts of the drug war.
    Methadone and Buprenorphine are treatments for the disease of opiate addiction. They should be readily available from doctors who properly instruct their patients. 12 Step Groups also try to help opiate addicts.
    After that, the disease rules.

    I hope these words help you understand the need for clinics. This is a chronic relapsing disease. In my opinion, a Methadone Clinic in a town will help a lot of opiate addicts find recovery. It is good to have this as a choice along with the 12 Step abstinence programs. Both can refer to one another.


    George K. Clarke MAT Advocate Medically Assisted Treatment

Comments are closed.

error: Content is protected !!