Essay by AGNumber3College, UndergraduateB+, November 2014

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Running head: Heroin or Methadone Which Harms More? �1

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Heroin or Methadone Which Harms More? Journal Review Andrew Gomez

Concordia University- Portland

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Heroin or Methadone, Which Harms More? �2

Philippe Bourgois conducted a study regarding heroin addicts and the method of

treatment issued in the United States. The purpose was to expose the failing form of treatment by

using interviews with a few individuals who are currently under treatment. The treatment given

by health clinics is doses of methadone. The reason methadone is given to heroin addicts is due

to its ability to block the pleasure that heroin stimulates. However, by issuing daily doses of

methadone, most patients become tolerant and the entire treatment becomes counter productive.

While Bourgois clearly states that the methadone treatment works for some, most continue to

suffer without being entirely clean. Methadone clinics are required to randomly drug test their

clients and statistics show that 16%-60% of people fail urine tests (p. 180). Despite the large

difference between the two numbers, the statistics report that the treatment is not working.

Because methadone blocks the effects of heroin, this drug is not producing the dirty urine

samples. It is known that crack cocaine stimulates the effects of methadone. This explains the

large amounts of failed drug tests. Bourgois exposes the faulty clinic treatments and goes out on

the limb and accuses methadone clinics to be "legalized dope dealers," (p. 178). As he explains,

methadone clinics are for-profit treatment centers that cost $12 a day (p.176). At times, the

dosages patients receive are not strong enough to block the high heroin gives. Patients then

request for a higher amount of methadone, but their request isn't satisfied because of...