Many studies have suggested as much as an eight-fold decrease in mortality rates among patients enrolled in MMT. Still other studies have suggested decreased rates of HIV transmission and criminal behavior for patients in MMT.
Although "detox" followed by abstinence is an emotionally appealing concept, persistent brain changes resulting from long-term opioid abuse mean that for most patients addiction is better conceptualized as a chronic illness requiring long-term medical treatment than as an acute illness treatable with a short course of medication.
While it is true that methadone-related deaths increased dramatically in the past decade, the culprit in the vast majority of these deaths was not MMT — a highly regulated and regimented intervention — but methadone pills prescribed in ever-increasing doses for chronic pain.
For the sake of the disenfranchised, suffering people for whom she advocates tirelessly, I would encourage Ms. Lowe to set aside her disdain for statistics and her ideological and impractical rejection of one of medicine's most effective treatments.