Scroll To Top

Waiting List Not Bad Thing?

Waiting List Not Bad Thing?

Since a new methadone treatment center opened in Saint John, Canada, an AIDS service organization has seen demand for drug-injection needles cut by half.

"Clearly we have some evidence that methadone does get people off needles," said Julie Dingwell, executive director of AIDS Saint John. In 2009, ASJ gave out about 200,000 needles.

Dingwell sees something positive in the fact that waiting lists at the two local methadone treatment centers quadrupled in the last month. The combined queue at St. Joseph's Community Health Center and Ridgewood Addiction Services jumped from about 24 in December to 88 in January.

More people may be finding out about methadone therapy and seeking help, Dingwell said. Whatever the reason for the jump, waiting lists likely underestimate the actual number of people in need of service, she said: "A lot of times, people won't go on a wait list. They say, 'If you can't help me right now, forget it.'"

The two clinics differ in their treatment approaches. The older Ridgewood Addiction Services has a mandatory counseling component, which the new St. Joseph's does not.

Health Minister Mary Schryer said in December the St. Joseph's program will not be expanded to other areas of the province until more information is gathered on the effect of offering methadone without requiring counseling.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

HIV Plus Editors