We Speak Methadone (and buprenorphine)

A NAMA Recovery Forum for Medication Assisted Treatment patients, family and advocates. (Issues or Questions about registration and/or the forum? Email zac@tnmethadone.org OR sapphirematthews@gmail.com)
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 Post subject: Why Language Matters
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:41 am
Posts: 8
Just a brief post to mention the importance of the language we use regarding our treatment. Though we may think it's mere semantics, it really isn't--the words we select have an effect on the general public and how they view MMT, and even color our own perspective of our treatment.

The only word we actually request no one use here is "meth" for methadone. You would not believe the number of people who believe that clinics are giving out crystal meth/methamphetamine or who think methadone and methamphetamine are the same thing. I have even read newspaper articles talking about busting up a "crystal methadone lab" and so on. The word "meth" has a very negative connotation to it--people hear it and think of that "faces of meth" thing that shows the physical ravages of methamphetamine use, or of all the horror stories they hear and read about regarding "meth", and it doesn't help them to see us in a positive light. So, we do ask that posters here refrain from using that term.

The rest of these are optional, but here are the reasons we prefer them:

We prefer using the term "taper" or "withdrawal" rather than "detox". This is because the term "detox" makes methadone sound as though it is a poison to rid your body of, rather than a beneficial medication. We don't usually speak of "detoxing" from blood pressure meds, anti depressants, etc, even though they usually require a taper period.

We prefer using the term "patients" rather than "clients", because we ARE patients. We are receiving medical care from licensed medical staff for an actual illness, and we are patients. If we are ever to be thought of in that light by others, though, we must first think of ourselves in that light. Some of the anti methadone groups like to use the term "patrons" to describe us, in part to belittle us and make us sound like customers of a legal drug dealer, which they believe we are. Therefore, it is important that we stand up for our rights to be viewed as medical patients.

We prefer using the terms "positive" and "negative" to describe urine screen results, rather than "clean" or "dirty". This is something I slip on myself at times, still--but these are not morality tests--they are urine tests for the presence of certain substances. Clean and dirty are slang terms that have long been used in treatment but with no valid purpose except to add shame to those who may have used. It's much more shaming to say "You're DIRTY again" than "Your screen was positive for cocaine".

We prefer to use the term "dependence" rather than "addiction" when it comes to our methadone. Many think that we have just traded one addiction for another, but this is clinically and medically untrue. Addiction involves not just physical dependence, but also a set of behaviors that are not present in stable, compliant methadone patients--therefore, they do not meet the criteria for being "addicted" to methadone, though they ARE physically dependent.

Well, that's it in a nutshell. The only one we are truly strict on is the "meth" one, but the rest are just things to consider and use if you agree or see fit.

Thanks for reading!


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 Post subject: Re: Why Language Matters
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:02 pm
Posts: 22
Location: Chicago, IL
Someone mentioned this on the other board and I thought it was important to note -

- We use the word "medicate" as opposed to "dosing." Dosing is more indicative of drug use or abuse - we are, in fact, medicating every day.

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lindsaytomcat@yahoo.com
For those in and around the Chicago area - feel free to contact me if you need help with your treatment.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Language Matters
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:02 pm
Posts: 22
Location: Chicago, IL
As one of the previous posters mentioned not everyone on the boards may know what some of our standard abreviations mean. There are some abbreviations that are utilized that are considered acceptible verbiage (in the right context) so I thought I would copy down what some of the abbreviations are and what they are referencing.
if anyone sees any discrepancy in my definitions or would like to add one, please feel free to jump in or request any that aren't listed here.
As one of the previous posters mentioned not everyone on the boards may know what some of our standard abbreviations mean. There are some abbreviations that are utilized that are considered acceptable verbiage (in the right context) so I thought I would copy down what some of the abbreviations are and what they are referencing.

if anyone sees any discrepancy in my definitions or would like to add one, please feel free to jump in or request any that aren't listed here.

MAT - Medication Assisted Treatment (Refers to both Suboxone and Methadone)

MMT - Methadone Maintenance Treatment (The methadone treatment we receive in most clinics; as a maintenance medication like insulin to a diabetic, etc)

OBOT - Office Based Opiate Treatment (A practice where a provider is able to dispense methadone to patients who have a long time of compliance in treatment without all the requirements of a regular provider. They generally charge much less than a clinic would, patients come in once a month and pick up their medication. Very similar to a regular Doctor's office where you are treated like a REAL medical patient)

OTP - Opiate Treatment Provider (General reference to clinics) I actually wasn't sure if this was the correct definition - I've been using it for so long that I had to stop and look it up but now I have confirmed this does appear to be correct.

XA - This is a general reference to any Twelve-Step Group or 12-Step Related Service. (Rather than saying specifically AA, NA, MA, etc)

NAMA - Abbreviation for the group "National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery" They run the website methadone.org which supports the "We Speak Methadone" Forums.

AATOD - Abbreviation for the organization "American Association for the Treatment of Opiate Dependence." They sponsor a national conference where advocates, treatment providers, and those associated with opiate treatment come together for workshops, trainings, peer meeting sessions, etc. This year (AATOD 2010) is taking place in Chicago

SAMHSA - Abbreviation for "The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration" - Federal agency whose focus is on mental health and addiction and reducing the negative impact of both in America. From their website: SAMHSA's core competencies include releasing and managing block grants and special programmatic funding and providing states, providers, communities and the public with the best and most up-to-date information about behavioral health issues and prevention/treatment approaches. Increasingly, we are expanding those competencies to focus collectively on using SAMHSA's resources and influence to effect real and measurable differences in the lives of people and communities throughout America.

_________________
lindsaytomcat@yahoo.com
For those in and around the Chicago area - feel free to contact me if you need help with your treatment.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Language Matters
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:09 pm
Posts: 69
I just was skimming through this again after telling someone else about this post.....and had to laugh when I read about you reading in the paper about a crystal methadone lab......lol......I know it's not funny but that is so over the top flat out wrong ! Can't believe those people don't fact check before printing!

Also thank you for the list of abbreviation definitions.......I just found that here! I'm always one of those people asking what is OBOT, etc. :D
You are the best!
oh, I know I may get this wrong, but there are still some I know I've seen used alot here and at the Dog, that I don't see listed.
Even "obvious" things like SAMSHA I just know I got that wrong.

crap my old computer had my list of that stuff. I have to start all over now ; I had a whole folder of MAT stuff and acronyms etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Language Matters
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:02 pm
Posts: 22
Location: Chicago, IL
OldnWise wrote:
oh, I know I may get this wrong, but there are still some I know I've seen used alot here and at the Dog, that I don't see listed.
Even "obvious" things like SAMSHA I just know I got that wrong.

crap my old computer had my list of that stuff. I have to start all over now ; I had a whole folder of MAT stuff and acronyms etc.



Oooh, thanks for pointing that one out - I don't think I had SAMHSA on there before, so I went ahead and edited that post and added them in at the bottom.

_________________
lindsaytomcat@yahoo.com
For those in and around the Chicago area - feel free to contact me if you need help with your treatment.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Language Matters
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:02 pm
Posts: 22
Location: Chicago, IL
MethadoneBuddy,

I think the worst offendors of using "meth" for "methadone" are from within the system! It's sad because it's usually the people from outside the system who are the ones who end up picking up on it (Thus the "crystal methadone lab" reference) but the ones usually starting it are the patients and clinciians.

The best way I can think of to stop this in it's tracks is to simply reinforce and correct every time it's used - eventually it will catch on and people will stop referencing methadone as "meth."

_________________
lindsaytomcat@yahoo.com
For those in and around the Chicago area - feel free to contact me if you need help with your treatment.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Language Matters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:18 pm 
I sometimes feel like I am constantly asking people to re-think calling our medicine "meth" on a DAILY basis... to MMT patients! :x It's sooo frustrating to me! SURELY the implications are CLEAR, no?


zt


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 Post subject: Re: Why Language Matters
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:24 pm
Posts: 5
I totally agree Zac. If we want to be treated like patients with a disease and not low life dopies, we should speak about our treatment the right way, and not like our medicine is "dope". Always remember the words we speak about our treatment have a big influence on the way others perceive our treatment. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Why Language Matters
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:24 pm
Posts: 5
Sorry guys, I'm new, and I didn't mean to post this so many times. I kept clicking submit cause I didn't think my post went through, i ll get the hang of it, lol!


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 Post subject: Re: Why Language Matters
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:50 pm 
cadkins0132 wrote:
Sorry guys, I'm new, and I didn't mean to post this so many times. I kept clicking submit cause I didn't think my post went through, i ll get the hang of it, lol!


It does seem to hang there while it is submitting and then sometimes after it has been submitted I get a blank page so I have to hit the back arrow which takes me back to my reply box which can make you think to hit reply again thinking it must not have taken....


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