Remember Us!


Remember Us!
The Writer Asks to Have Their Name Withheld for Fear of Retaliation

Italian version

Imagine -- a young woman is in the Ladies Room stall, the door is being held open by a worker whose job it is to observe the woman (any female patient) give a urine sample. This sample is tested for any drugs that are against the rules of the methadone clinic.

The young woman is balanced over the toilet in such a way for the attendant to view the "urine stream." Splash! A small bottle falls out of the woman's vagina into the toilet. She looks at the worker with tears welling up in her eyes, "Are you going to tell the doctor?" "Honey, you better believe I'm gonna tell someone, what do you think you are doing?"

Think of the humiliation, of the desperation for the young woman to even try such a thing. How many times had the poor suffering woman prepared herself like this before, as it's the rule for random urine takes! I can't get it out of my head. It's so pitiful and so typical of the desperate things an addict feels forced to do. What I see and how I feel, is this woman went to the clinic to get help. Somehow, somewhere, something must be wrong. If she was getting the right dose of methadone, if her counselor was effective, if programs did not discharge patients for displaying symptoms of their disease, this would not happen. Am I right? I feel that I am. If the dose of methadone is adequate then the addict should not be having "hunger" for a drug. Also, if the dose is correct then a person would not be able to feel the effect of the illegal drug. It would be a waste of money. The "high" is gone!

I bring this up as just part of a story, but to show that having one clinic to treat addicts with methadone (300 patients) is for a city of this size (Columbus, Ohio) not enough. Also, the human side of this sorry story is the clinic that is here has been here for more than 15 years and there are just a few employees that have been with the clinic from the start. One could say "Bless them for their commitment" or, one could say that they have become hard and uncaring -- the environment of care has gone long ago. They seem to only be counting the days until they can retire and get away from these disgusting and manipulative patients. It's just an awful situation here in Columbus. I don't know how to bring help here except like this, in writing to anyone that might try to change things here.

This is just one small picture. If anyone can offer ideas or help, there are many here that would thank you.

Please keep this city in your thoughts. Remember, the patients that are treated like they are less than human by the clinic, or the active addicts who never have the chance to be treated badly by the clinic.

Editor's Note: This column, "Remember Us!" will become a feature of The Ombudsman to provide a vehicle of expression for the many oppressed patients afraid to speak out. "Remember Us!" will tell their story.


Back to the Methadone Main Page