Posted by Fr. John Munson on Dec 04, 2018
Matt Patterson was the Rotarian of the Day. His guest was Tom Talbert, MD. Dr. Tom is working with a new treatment clinic that deals with opioid addiction, what used to be known as a Methadone Clinic.  The opioid addiction is a real scourge in this country. Over 30,000 young people overdose every year. Many have lost jobs, families, friends, and health as they spend $500 or more a week on their habits. Before becoming associated with the clinic Dr. Tom did a lot of research. He found that many saw the Methadone clinics as a crutch, which trades one addiction for another. Dependency and addiction are different things, and those with dependency are not necessarily addicts. Addiction is caused by a mental disorder. We have a pleasure / reward system that is built into our brains. 10% to 15% of the popluation have a disorder that makes this process out of control. It is primarily inherited, and if both parents have the gene for addiction disorder, a child will have 75% chance of developing addiction. It is not a moral choice, but a mental disorder that must be treated as such. Craving something is a normal thing, but an addiction can develop, so methadone allows the treatment of the craving and disorder without giving a feeling of being high.  Combined with counseling, patients can recover and break the cycle of pleasure / reward system of drug use.